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CESR welcomes new report challenging GDP fixation and advocating for a Rights-Based Economy

We welcome the latest report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Olivier De Schutter, which calls for an urgent shift away from the dangerous fixation on GDP as a measure of progress. The report, recently presented to the UN Human Rights Council, highlights the detrimental effects of mainstream economic thinking on both the environment and social equality, urging a transition to a human rights-based economy.

De Schutter’s report provides a comprehensive critique of the belief that economic growth alone can eradicate global poverty. It documents how this growth-centric approach has led to extreme inequality and environmental degradation, benefiting a tiny elite while leaving hundreds of millions in extreme poverty. The report underscores the need to prioritize human rights and well-being in economic decisions, aligning closely with CESR’s vision of a Rights-Based Economy (RBE).

The report also emphasizes that economic growth in the Global South has failed to alleviate poverty significantly, often relying on exploitation and resource extraction to benefit the Global North. De Schutter advocates for development models focused on social and ecological well-being rather than GDP increases.

As part of the transition to an RBE, the report calls for debt restructuring, progressive taxation, and stronger international cooperation on tax evasion. It outlines concrete policies such as government-backed jobs, better valuation of unpaid domestic work, and wealth caps on destructive industries. At CESR, we support these recommendations and will continue working to transform the world’s economic architecture with rights at the center.

You can read the full report here.