Rule of law can rid the world of povertySubmitted by emalvini on Thu, 09/27/2012 - 03:33
Rule of law can rid the world of poverty
By George Soros and Fazle Hasan Abed
Poverty is on the retreat. Despite the global economic downturn, the World Bank and UN reported this year that the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped in every region of the world for the first time since record keeping began. Though progress on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals has been uneven, we should be heartened that we have already reached, three years before the target date of 2015, the first of these eight goals – that of halving the number of people still living on less than $1 a day. However, we risk allowing these gains to come undone if we fail to strengthen the rule of law in developing countries.
Without basic legal empowerment, the poor live an uncertain existence, in fear of deprivation, displacement and dispossession. A juvenile is wrongfully detained and loses time in school; village land is damaged by a mining company without compensation; an illiterate widow is denied the inheritance she is entitled to and is forced on to the streets with her children. By what means can individuals and communities protect their rights in daily life?