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Redefining and combating poverty: Human rights, democracy and common goods in today's Europe (Trends in social cohesion n°25)

Redefining and combating poverty: Human rights, democracy and common goods in today's Europe (Trends in social cohesion n°25) (2012)

ISBN 978-92-871-7336-2
Type of document : Book
Format : Paper
Size : 16 x 24 cm
Language : English
Number of pages : 400

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Redefining and combating poverty: Human rights, democracy and common goods in today's Europe (Trends in social cohesion n°25)

Redefining and combating poverty: Human rights, democracy and common goods in today's Europe (Trends in social cohesion n°25)

We are at a point in history where economic inequalities are more widespread each day. The situation of extreme poverty experienced by the majority of the populations in developing countries ("Third World" countries) often coincides with an absence of democracy and the violation of the most fundamental rights. But in so-called "First World" countries a non-negligible proportion of inhabitants also live in impoverished conditions (albeit mainly "relative" poverty) and are denied their rights. The European situation, which this publication aims to analyse, is painful: the entire continent is afflicted by increasing poverty and consequently by the erosion of living conditions and social conflicts.The economic and financial crisis has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs, and created job insecurity for many still working. Economic insecurity raises social tensions, aggravating xenophobia, for instance. Yet the economic and financial crisis could present a good opportunity to rethink the economic and social system as a whole. Indeed, poverty in modern societies has never been purely a question of lack of wealth.It is therefore urgent today to devise a new discourse on poverty. In pursuit of this goal, the Council of Europe is following up this publication in the framework of the project "Human rights of people experiencing poverty", co-financed by the European Commission.

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We are at a point in history where economic inequalities are more widespread each day. The situation of extreme poverty experienced by the majority of the populations in developing countries ("Third World" countries) often coincides with an absence of democracy and the violation of the most fundamental rights. But in so-called "First World" countries a non-negligible proportion of inhabitants also live in impoverished conditions (albeit mainly "relative" poverty) and are denied their rights. The European situation, which this publication aims to analyse, is painful: the entire continent is afflicted by increasing poverty and consequently by the erosion of living conditions and social conflicts.The economic and financial crisis has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs, and created job insecurity for many still working. Economic insecurity raises social tensions, aggravating xenophobia, for instance. Yet the economic and financial crisis could present a good opportunity to rethink the economic and social system as a whole. Indeed, poverty in modern societies has never been purely a question of lack of wealth.It is therefore urgent today to devise a new discourse on poverty. In pursuit of this goal, the Council of Europe is following up this publication in the framework of the project "Human rights of people experiencing poverty", co-financed by the European Commission.

Foreword

Introduction - Redefining poverty so as to fight it

Part A - Poverty yesterday and today: types of approach
A historical perspective: from social inclusion to excluding democracy
Examining the relationships of poverty

Part B - Human rights against poverty
Guaranteeing human rights in situations of poverty
Human rights of people experiencing poverty in Europe: standards, obstacles and perspectives of protection in Council of Europe instruments
Part 1: The European Convention on Human Rights
Human rights of people experiencing poverty in Europe: standards, obstacles and perspectives of protection in Council of Europe instruments
Part 2: The European Social Charter

Part C - Concrete examples: poverty as a consequence of transition
Emergence of poverty in transition countries in South-East Europe: the case of Bulgaria
Social justice and poverty in Russia

Part D - Democracy, social justice and poverty
Poverty and democracy - Chances and conflicts
"Poor bodies" in suspension
Social justice, deficit reduction and diminishing social rights - Lessons from the UK's "Big Society"

Part E - Present-day strategies for overcoming poverty
(a)  Basic income: a proposal
Basic income, social justice and poverty
The basic income and the different egalitarian rights to security
(b) The strategy of common goods
Providing direct access to social justice by renewing common sense: the state, the market and some preliminary questions about the commons
Commons, social justice and environmental justice
The commons, social cohesion and the autonomy of social reproduction
Combating poverty in the 21st century

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