The Right to Continuous Improvement of Living Conditions as a Response to Poverty

Luke D. Graham ‘The Right to the Continuous Improvement of Living Conditions as a Response to Poverty’ in Jessie Hohmann and Beth Goldblatt (eds.) The Right to the Continuous Improvement of Living Conditions: Responding to Complex Global Challenges (Hart 2021) 65-85

The University of Manchester Legal Research Paper Series No. 22/03

25 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2022

See all articles by Luke D. Graham

Luke D. Graham

The University of Manchester - School of Law

Date Written: November 18, 2021

Abstract

This chapter explores the right to continuous improvement of living conditions as a response to poverty. Specifically, this chapter addresses several conceptual issues which stem from the right. These issues are the baseline from which improvement must be made, the limits on continuity of improvement, the rights-holders, and that which must be continuously improved. I contend that poverty can serve as a useful framework through which to respond to these issues coherently and consistently. To achieve this, this chapter i) defines poverty and extreme poverty and argues that the baseline from which improvement must be made is the context-specific and relativist poverty threshold; ii) argues that a poverty focus does not limit the notion of continuity within the right but rather the poverty lens allows for perpetual improvement; iii) highlights that this focus prioritises the impoverished but that such prioritisation does not deprive the non-poor of their status as rights holders and has positive implications for the more broadly understood living conditions of all; iv) argues that the resources required to avoid poverty ought to represent the subject matter of the right to continuous improvement of living conditions, and; v) suggests that whilst the right is of an individual nature it may also be interpreted as a societal claim that the minimum conditions of living (the poverty threshold) within a society must be continuously improved. Viewed in this way, the prevention and alleviation of poverty, whilst being of value in itself, can also be a stimulus for the implementation of fundamental social and economic rights including the right to the continuous improvement of living conditions. This is because the poverty lens can bring clarity to the right to continuous improvement of living conditions, whilst simultaneously the right to continuous improvement of living conditions may bolster poverty eradication efforts.

Keywords: Poverty, Human Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ESCRs, The Right to Continuous Improvement of Living Conditions

Suggested Citation

Graham, Luke D., The Right to Continuous Improvement of Living Conditions as a Response to Poverty (November 18, 2021). Luke D. Graham ‘The Right to the Continuous Improvement of Living Conditions as a Response to Poverty’ in Jessie Hohmann and Beth Goldblatt (eds.) The Right to the Continuous Improvement of Living Conditions: Responding to Complex Global Challenges (Hart 2021) 65-85, The University of Manchester Legal Research Paper Series No. 22/03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4033538

Luke D. Graham (Contact Author)

The University of Manchester - School of Law ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL, M139PL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/luke.graham.html

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