From Undeserving Poor to Rights Holder: Working Paper

In our first working paper, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, discusses the importance of having a human rights approach to social protection.

She argues that the persistent stigma around poverty among politicians, policy-makers and the general public has been a major obstacle to achieving the full potential of social protection to tackle poverty. A human rights approach can help to dismantle the fallacy of the  ‘undeserving poor’, moving towards a model in which people living in poverty are understood as individuals with inherent dignity and entitlements to social protection.


 About the Author

Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights since May 2008. Sepúlveda is also Visiting Fellow at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

As Special Rapporteur, Sepúlveda has undertaken country visits and advised a range of governments in all parts of the world. She has taught various postgraduate courses at universities in Latin America and is currently Associate Porfessor at Oxford University’s Summer Course on Human Rights. Sepúlveda has published widely in human rights, poverty and develo

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