TERM PROJECT FOR SOCIAL POLICY ANDDEVELOPMENT COURSESUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF SOCIALSCIENCESOFMIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY Word count: 1553 JANUARY 2018Poverty as a cross-cutting issue, affectsnearly 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 fordeveloping countries, even most advanced and wealthy countries face differentrates of poverty. The definition of poverty, according to the UN Statementstarts as; “fundamentally poverty is a denial ofchoices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basiccapacity to participate effectively in society, not having enough to feed andcloth a family, not having a school or clinicto go to …” (United Nations Economic and Social Council, 1998).
One of the milestones for the start ofcombatting against poverty, The World Summit on Social Development in Copenhagenin 1995 and adoption of UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2000 raised theawareness of the issue and helped to be included in priority areas of MemberStates of UN. United Nations Summit in 2015, set the 2030 Agenda of SustainableDevelopment with unanimity of 193 UN countries. In these programs, poverty ispriority 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 gofurther to end all forms of poverty (United Nations General Assembly, 2015). 193 countriessigned the Agenda make the policies to eradicate the poverty with all forms. Alleviatingthe results of poverty requires a comprehensive and holistic approach.
Modernstate 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 thefree market. As poverty is a multidimensional issue, every measure of employmentpolicies, social policies and also fiscal policies affect the disadvantagedgroups of the society, especially the poor. Governments who follow neoliberal economicpolicies, especially in eighties, are blamed with the increasing number ofpeople living under the poverty line among the most vulnerable groups (Bush, 2007). Today, it is stillan essential decision of the governments and authorities when making policy;encouraging the economic development with deregulating market or protecting therights of the citizens against inequalities. Additionally, total fertility rateof 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, runsin the family because the cycle of poverty, it is really hard to move out ofpoverty without extra measure; we can assume that demographics will robustlyaffect our future projections about poverty.
The population coming from thepoor families will have lesser chances of education and employment; which willconsolidate the poverty of family. This fact is one of the most importantfactors for the policy makers trying to eradicate all forms of poverty onearth. Geographically, the data shows most of the cases of absolute poverty isfrom 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 gainedimportance after the significant incidents in the early 2000s such as; attackon World Trade Center on 9/11, invasion of Iraq and global economic crisis. Thefigures 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 migratingto other areas or are forced to do so.
Reasons behind the migration vary.Poverty, social instability, lack of infrastructure or conflicts in the origincountry may cause migration, as well as other reasons. According to 2017 GlobalTrends Report, there are more than 65 million individuals forcibly displaced asa result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.
Thatwas an increase of 300,000 people over the previous year, and the world’sforcibly displaced population remained at a record high (UNHCR, 2017). Taking intoconsideration that the number of international migrants worldwide has continuedto grow rapidly in recent years, reaching 258 million in 2017, up from 220 millionin 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 initiallysucceed in their intention to a certain degree. But, poverty follows the migrantswhere they go. As refugees, asylum seekers or migrants for economic reasons, itis quite probable that these people will not have the equal opportunities toreach education, employment, social security or social network in thedestination places whether another country or another region in the country. Withinthe framework of all these inequalities, individuals who migrate are morelikely to experience poverty.
For instance, poverty in the United Statesdeclined slightly between 1970 and 2005. Declines were notable for thenative-born, whereas poverty among immigrants increased (Steven & Smolensky, 2009). The nationalpoverty rate is 14.8 percent, while immigrants as a group have a poverty rateof 30 percent and it is likely that the poverty rate of undocumented householdsis even higher (Bread for the World Institute, 2016). Immigration mayalso affect the national poverty rate of natives.
To the extent that immigrantsdrive down the wages of natives with similar skills, increased immigration willcontribute to native poverty. This effect may be exacerbated if natives respondto lower wage offers by working fewer hours (Steven & Smolensky, 2009).