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date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the idea of impoverishment and the concept of poverty as a global condition. It makes a distinction between “poverty” and “impoverishment”—the latter being the conditions and policies that keep people mired in poverty. It also makes a distinction between absolute poverty—conditions that threaten survival—and relative poverty. Absolute poverty is often regarded as a human right, and this chapter details efforts by international entities such as agencies of the United Nations to include the abolition of global poverty within the idea of universal human rights. The chapter also discusses the nature of impoverishment in the Anthropocene era, in which global warming will threaten everyone within vast regions of the Earth. The notions of global responsibility and universal human rights will have to be expanded to include these problematic new circumstances.

Keywords: poverty, impoverishment, human rights, United Nations, global warming, Anthropocene era

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