The IBA’s response to the war in Ukraine  

Bruce Macallum

Vladislav Zabrodin

Poverty and Social Development Committee

The Poverty and Social Development Committee welcomes your contributions, either through newsletter article submissions, becoming an officer, or presenter at conferences. The value of membership is most enhanced through active participation, so please get involved.

About the Committee

The Poverty and Social Development Committee is a new IBA Committee. However, our work has been ongoing through various IBA auspices for many years. We seek to engage the legal profession in actions that will directly contribute to the attainment of UN Sustainability Goal #1: The Eradication of Poverty.

Poverty marginalises, disables and traps individuals and their communities. Our Committee seeks to develop and apply law to enable all citizens to live their lives fully. We believe that law can be used proactively to support well-being. Law can effectively protect people from the negative consequences of actions by governments, businesses and individuals. These actions can perpetuate or cause poverty. Used constructively and proactively law has the capacity to contribute to societal well-being through the relief of poverty.

We believe that it is the duty of all legal professionals, no matter their role, whether private or public, to create and employ the law for good, to advise and advocate against exploitation of others, and to always be aware of and to avoid the negative consequences of their or their clients’ actions, intended or not. In the long view, with the eradication of poverty greater prosperity is possible for all. Only then will we be able to say that the law aims to be and is just.

A number of great projects are planned, including a podcast on the strong connection between the rule of law and our mandate; work on a new, practical book that will assist lawyers who wish to advance the effort to eradicate poverty through law; relevant session at the IBA Annual Conference and support of a young lawyer through a scholarship. We intend to continue to work on great projects to work with and support non-governmental organisations and other charitable entities that are engaged in the elimination of poverty, and look forward to the difference the work of the committee and all its members will make.

We enthusiastically welcome IBA members who wish to join with us! Become a member of the Poverty and Social development Committee of the IBA.

Forthcoming conferences and webinars View All Conferences

Committee content

Eradicating Poverty Through Social Development: A Practical Guide for Lawyers

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 1 – the eradication of poverty in all its forms everywhere – can be achieved by 2030, but it will require catalytic leadership and hard work by the legal profession. Active involvement in the elimination of poverty has become the ethical obligation of every lawyer. This book, edited and authored by members of the IBA Poverty and Social Development Committee, is a compilation of commentary and case studies about the broad variety of initiatives and actions that lawyers in all sections of the profession worldwide – law firms, law schools, bar associations and corporate law departments – are taking to achieve sustainable progress in the fight against poverty and the betterment of the communities they serve.

Podcast: Impacts of Covid-19 on efforts to eradicate poverty

The international poverty line currently stands at $2 per day. While there has been great progress towards the eradication of poverty in some parts of the world, there is clearly more work to be done. It is projected that the Covid-19 pandemic will leave more than 70 million additional people in extreme poverty, and 200 million additional people in poverty.

In this podcast, Alvaro Castellanos Howell, Co-Chair of the IBA Poverty and Social Development Committee, talks to Hugo Beteta, Director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Mr Beteta discusses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Latin American and Caribbean countries, the difference between poverty and inequality, and the recommendations made by ECLAC on the eradication of poverty.

Global Insight: Digital transformation and human rights

As governments around the world increasingly move to automate social security, Global Insight evaluates the dangers that unchecked digital transformation pose to the rights of the world’s poorest citizens.

Neil Gold and Varun Mansinghka, Co-Chair and Asia Pacific Regional Forum Liaison Officer respectively of the IBA Poverty and Social Development Committee, contributed to an article by Jennifer Sadler-Venis about the digital transformation of governance that is taking hold of the world for the February/March 2020 edition of Global Insight.

Podcast: Poverty and the rule of law

In the first podcast of the Poverty and Social Development Committee, in collaboration with the Rule of Law Forum, Carmen Pombo, IBA Poverty and Social Development Committee Advisory Board Member and Co-Chair of the Rule of Law Forum, talks to Ian McDougall, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the LexisNexis, Legal & Professional division of RELX Group, about the relationship between poverty and the rule of law.

Subcommittees and other groups

The Poverty and Social Development Committee also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • Poverty and Social Development Committee Advisory Board