A/HRC/14/31 United Nations General Assembly Distr.: General 31 March 2010 Original: English Human Rights Council Fourteenth session Agenda item 3 Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development Report of the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona* Summary In this report, submitted in accordance to resolution 8/11, the independent expert focuses on non-contributory pensions or so-called social pensions. Social pensions consist of cash benefits received by persons above a given age that do not require prior compulsory contributions from beneficiaries, employers or the State. Social pensions are an important dimension of social security systems. States are obliged progressively to ensure the right to social security and the right to an adequate standard of living to all individuals within the country. These rights are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several international human rights treaties and International Labour Organization conventions. Considering the vulnerability of older persons, States must take appropriate measures to establish social security schemes that provide benefits to all older persons without discrimination of any kind and ensure equal rights for men and women. Today, large proportions of the population work outside the formal employment sector and traditional informal support systems for older people are changing under the pressure of increased longevity, widespread poverty, the impact of HIV/AIDS and migration. Contributory pension schemes (e.g. employment-based pensions) do not reach all older persons. Therefore, States must recognize that social pensions are critical elements for the progressive realization of the right to social security for older people. Non-contributory pensions can significantly reduce poverty and vulnerability among old people, in particular for women, who live longer and are less likely to benefit from contributory systems. The report provides recommendations on how to ensure that non-contributory pensions comply with core human rights standards. It also addresses the role of international assistance and cooperation in the field of social security. * Late submission. GE.10-12583 (E) 010410 230410

Select target paragraph3