Local and Global Poverty: Insights Using a Rights-based Approach


  • Ankita Deka Department of Social Work, Augsburg College




Poverty, rights-based approach, social exclusion, human rights


Social workers have proposed various conceptual models to explain the relationship between structural oppressions and poverty. These models are grounded in critical social work and each provides an understanding of how systemic issues impact the sustenance and reinforcement of poverty. With rapid economic globalization and further social and economic exclusion faced by people, poverty has become even more deep and complex. This paper argues for the adoption of a rights-based framework in social work to address issues of endemic structural poverty. Grounded on the principle of the inalienability of basic human rights, the rights-based approach changes the discourse on poverty by creating accountability, equality, transparency and participation from welfare states and civil society. The paper also provides a critique against traditional human rights perspectives in poverty alleviation. The paper provides a context in which the rights-based approach could be pursued in global as well as local contexts.

Author Biography

Ankita Deka, Department of Social Work, Augsburg College

Assistant Professor Department of Social Work Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN