Current and Future Developments in Law

Volume: 1

Employment and Poverty: The Case of ‘Working Poor’

Author(s): Jose Luis Rey Perez

Pp: 201-210 (10)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681085760117010015

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Traditionally employment was the best instrument to fight against poverty and social exclusion. This explains that the right to work had been included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and in some constitutions. Right to work has been interpreted as right to a job and a duty for all citizens. However, one of the consequences of the economic crisis started in 2008 has been the precarization of working conditions. In this context appears the phenomena of working poor, people who have a job but they do not earn enough money to cover their basic needs. In this chapter, the phenomenon of working poor will be studied from the perspective of human rights and a new interpretation of the right to work will be proposed in the sense that work is a wider concept than jobs. Some possible political responses to working poverty will also be studied. The phenomenon of working poor is understood as negation of the right to work and the human right to live with dignity

Keywords: Labour rights, Poverty, Right to work, Salaries, Working conditions, Working poor.

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