TERM Development Goals (MDG) in 2000 raised the

 

 

 

TERM PROJECT FOR SOCIAL POLICY AND
DEVELOPMENT COURSE

SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL
SCIENCES

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OF

MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word count: 1553

JANUARY 2018

Poverty as a cross-cutting issue, affects
nearly all of the problems that social policies try to solve. More or less,
most of the social problems are related with the poverty. It is not only for
developing countries, even most advanced and wealthy countries face different
rates of poverty. The definition of poverty, according to the UN Statement
starts as;

“fundamentally poverty is a denial of
choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic
capacity to participate effectively in society, not having enough to feed and
cloth a family, not having a school or  clinic
to go to …” (United Nations Economic and
Social Council, 1998).

One of the milestones for the start of
combatting against poverty, The World Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen
in 1995 and adoption of UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2000 raised the
awareness of the issue and helped to be included in priority areas of Member
States of UN. United Nations Summit in 2015, set the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable
Development with unanimity of 193 UN countries. In these programs, poverty is
priority number one since 2000, among other problems of the people of the earth.
2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development builds upon the MDG and aims to go
further to end all forms of poverty (United Nations General Assembly, 2015). 193 countries
signed the Agenda make the policies to eradicate the poverty with all forms. Alleviating
the results of poverty requires a comprehensive and holistic approach. Modern
state has the legitimacy and the responsibility to tackle the poverty. However,
there is a point that policymakers should decide on to favour the poor or the
free market. As poverty is a multidimensional issue, every measure of employment
policies, social policies and also fiscal policies affect the disadvantaged
groups of the society, especially the poor. Governments who follow neoliberal economic
policies, especially in eighties, are blamed with the increasing number of
people living under the poverty line among the most vulnerable groups (Bush, 2007). Today, it is still
an essential decision of the governments and authorities when making policy;
encouraging the economic development with deregulating market or protecting the
rights of the citizens against inequalities. Additionally, total fertility rate
of people in poverty is assertively higher than people in better income groups,
so higher incomes are associated with lower fertility (Roser, 2017).
Taking into consideration the fact that poverty is kind of a genetic disease, runs
in the family because the cycle of poverty, it is really hard to move out of
poverty without extra measure; we can assume that demographics will robustly
affect our future projections about poverty. The population coming from the
poor families will have lesser chances of education and employment; which will
consolidate the poverty of family. This fact is one of the most important
factors for the policy makers trying to eradicate all forms of poverty on
earth. Geographically, the data shows most of the cases of absolute poverty is
from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia according to poverty headcount ratio at
$1.90 a day is the percentage of the population living on less than $1.90 a day
(World Bank, 2013).

Migration is another topic gained
importance after the significant incidents in the early 2000s such as; attack
on World Trade Center on 9/11, invasion of Iraq and global economic crisis. The
figures show an increasing rate of people move between countries every year.
Migration affects not only people but also culture, identity, economy,
demography, countries, laws and policies. More and more people prefer migrating
to other areas or are forced to do so. Reasons behind the migration vary.
Poverty, social instability, lack of infrastructure or conflicts in the origin
country may cause migration, as well as other reasons. According to 2017 Global
Trends Report, there are more than 65 million individuals forcibly displaced as
a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. That
was an increase of 300,000 people over the previous year, and the world’s
forcibly displaced population remained at a record high (UNHCR, 2017). Taking into
consideration that the number of international migrants worldwide has continued
to grow rapidly in recent years, reaching 258 million in 2017, up from 220 million
in 2010 and 173 million in 2000 (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2017).

As one of the many reasons of migration,
poverty has a different attribute. One cannot leave poverty behind easily.
People who flee from conflict, persecution or human rights violations initially
succeed in their intention to a certain degree. But, poverty follows the migrants
where they go. As refugees, asylum seekers or migrants for economic reasons, it
is quite probable that these people will not have the equal opportunities to
reach education, employment, social security or social network in the
destination places whether another country or another region in the country. Within
the framework of all these inequalities, individuals who migrate are more
likely to experience poverty. For instance, poverty in the United States
declined slightly between 1970 and 2005. Declines were notable for the
native-born, whereas poverty among immigrants increased (Steven & Smolensky, 2009). The national
poverty rate is 14.8 percent, while immigrants as a group have a poverty rate
of 30 percent and it is likely that the poverty rate of undocumented households
is even higher (Bread for the World Institute, 2016). Immigration may
also affect the national poverty rate of natives. To the extent that immigrants
drive down the wages of natives with similar skills, increased immigration will
contribute to native poverty. This effect may be exacerbated if natives respond
to lower wage offers by working fewer hours (Steven & Smolensky, 2009).

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