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   Poverty and Human Rights: UNESCO's Anti-Poverty Projects

Urban Poverty Alleviation Among Migrants
Fighting urban poverty among young and female migrants in China and Mongolia through training, support and action

The objective of this project is to address the problems of urban poverty and the social and economic exclusion faced by the young, especially, the young female migrants. The project is designed to facilitate the integration of this target population into the urban society of China and Mongolia. It aims to do so by improving their living conditions by providing access to social services, recreational activities and vocational training so as to empower these migrants, increase their awareness of legal and human rights, and enhance their capability for self-development.

The urban explosion is taking place in China on a national scale and exposes migrants to complex and highly divergent challenges. Therefore, this project focuses on 7 pilot sites in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian, Chengdu, Kunming, Diqing, and Chifeng and two in Mongolia. The sites have been selected to include sending, receiving and transitional areas in an effort to capture the full spectrum of challenges confronting migrants.
While local programs in each pilot site have been structured to provide young and female migrants with a broad spectrum of social services, resources, and activities, a priority issue has been identified at each site. In the case of the Dalian pilot site, the project focuses on providing better housing facilities to support the integration of migrants. In Beijing, services focus on raising the awareness of female migrants working as domestic servants, and the labour and human rights to which these workers are entitled. In each case, the program of services is designed to strengthen opportunities for self-development, dignity and protection of human rights.

A strong triangular network of partners has been established in each pilot site involving social science researchers, NGOs (local women’s federations) and local authorities.

Based on the experience gained from its first two years of operation, the project has updated and expanded its strategy to focus on three primary areas of:

To enhance awareness of young and female migrants about their legal and human rights, organize vocational training activities and deliver concrete services to migrants. The project will attempt to reinforce the voice of migrants through the activities implemented in the pilot sites.

To improve the involvement and the know-how of local authorities in organizing capacity building for local officials as well as civil organizations on social policies relating to migrants in each pilot site.

To influence policy-makers at provincial/national level in order to engage a scaling-up strategy from local experience to national recommendations and advocacy.

To achieve these aims, policy papers will be prepared by researchers on the relationship between actions implemented and research in social sciences. White papers consisting of recommendations for policy makers will be published and a communication, information and advocacy campaign targeting general public opinion will be pursued and strengthened. To date this has resulted in the “Together with Migrants” artists event in Beijing in November 2003 which was widely covered by media. Similar events designed to raise awareness and strengthen the triangular partnership (local authorities, social scientists, NGOs) will be organized in other pilot sites.

Rights addressed by this project:

Education and Training

Peace and Security


Access to Justice

Region covered by this project:

Asia and the Pacific

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Eradication of Poverty,
especially Extreme Poverty

UN Millennium Development Goal 1

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