Research Handbook on Human Rights and Poverty
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Research Handbook on Human Rights and Poverty

Edited by Martha F. Davis, Morten Kjaerum and Amanda Lyons

This important Research Handbook explores the nexus between human rights, poverty and inequality as a critical lens for understanding and addressing key challenges of the coming decades, including the objectives set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. The Research Handbook starts from the premise that poverty is not solely an issue of minimum income and explores the profound ways that deprivation and distributive inequality of power and capability relate to economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.
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Chapter 25: The right to health for people living in poverty: a human rights perspective

Mette Hartlev


Deprivation of basic social goods is a characteristic of poverty. As health is shaped by access to social determinants, such as water, housing, and supply of nutritious food, there is a clear link between poverty and poor health, and individuals living in poverty are at greater risk of being exposed to communicable and non-communicable diseases. Likewise, poor health conditions have an impact on individuals’ opportunities to sustain themselves and their families. Altogether, socially disadvantaged people with poor health conditions are easily caught in a poverty trap. This chapter explores the link between poverty and the right to health, including the impact new health technologies (e.g. precision medicine) and big data may have on access to health for individuals living in poverty. It argues, that to break the vicious circle between poverty and health it is necessary to employ a human rights-based approach with an emphasis on empowering and engaging citizens.

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