Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Rapporteur


Olivier De Schutter, Professor of International Law at UCLouvain, has been appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty. As a specialist in the field of human rights, he is internationally recognised for his expertise in this area.

From 2008 to 2014, he held two successive mandates as UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. In 2015, he was also elected a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and appointed co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food). Together with other experts, he advocates the idea of a European Union food policy and "better coordination of other policies at European level to ensure that EU food systems contribute more to the well-being of the population."

Today, he begins his new mandate for the UN in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. He believes that the current situation "will cause extreme poverty to worsen by 40%. The human impacts are dramatic, but at the same time we must seize this opportunity to get governments to listen." In this context, Olivier De Schutter has decided to focus his efforts on three priorities: social protection for all; a fair transition; and involving people experiencing poverty in the implementation of solutions.