Poverty, Socio-Economic Issues

As per the United Nations, “poverty is fundamentally a denial of choices and opportunities, and a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living on marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation”. (UN Statement, June 1998 –signed by the heads of all UN agencies)

Poverty is a socio-economic issue. Socio-economic issues are factors that have negative influence on an individuals' economic activity including: lack of education, cultural and religious discrimination, overpopulation, unemployment and corruption. Poverty is also a variable that determines one's socio-economic status - meaning, an individual's or group's position within a hierarchical social structure which depends on a combination of variables, including occupation, education, income, wealth, and place of residence.

In Canada right now:

  • One in ten children is poor.
  • Canada's child poverty rate of 15 percent is three times as high as the rates of Sweden, Norway or Finland.
  • Every month, 770,000 people in Canada use food banks. Forty percent of those relying on food banks are children.

        (Sourced from, makepovertyhistory.ca)

Click here to see the TVO.org info-graphic on poverty in Canada and a comparison to other nations.

Recommended Webpages

  1. United Nations website for the International Day for Eradication of Poverty provides background information as well as valuable links - http://www.un.org/en/events/povertyday/links.shtml

  2. Poverty & Human Rights UNESCO’s Anti-Poverty projects -

  3. Canada Without Poverty is a federally incorporated, not-for-profit and charitable organization that is dedicated to the elimination of poverty in Canada - http://www.cwp-csp.ca/

  4. The Canadian Council on Social Development’s website provides numerous publications around poverty related issues - http://www.ccsd.ca/

  5. The Campaign Against Child Poverty’s site is by a national, non-partisan coalition of citizens that is concerned about the unacceptably high levels of child and family poverty in Canada. They interest is to reduce the numbers of poor children in Canada - http://www.childpoverty.com/eng/invest/start.html

  6. Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network's web site provides information about poverty in Peterborough City and County and widespread community efforts to make a difference - www.pprn.ca

  7. Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit's web site offers help finding resources to address poverty and facts about poverty in our local community - http://www.hkpr.on.ca/InfoSet/Adults/RethinkHealth.aspx

  8. The World Health Organization' poverty page provide further links and resources relating to the effects of poverty on health - http://www.who.int/topics/poverty/en/

  9. For more recommended and relevant web sites, view contents in Social Justice.