Country visit to the United States: inputs received


Closed:
4 October 2017
Submissions available below
Issued by:
The Special Rapporteur for extreme poverty
Purpose:
To inform the country visit to the United States
Presented:
At the 38th session of the HRC, A/HRC/38/33/Add.1

Background

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, undertook an official country visit to the United States from 4 to 15 December 2017 at the invitation of the US Government. His visit focused, in accordance with his mandate, on the interlinkages between poverty and the realisation of human rights.

The Special Rapporteur presented the report on his visit to the Human Rights Council at its 38th session, in June 2018.

Summary

The United States is a land of stark contrasts. Its immense wealth and expertise stand in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live. About 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty. It has the highest youth poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the highest infant mortality rates among comparable OECD States. This report examines various dimensions of poverty the Special Rapporteur observed during the course of his visit.

Inputs received

The Special Rapporteur invited all interested parties in the United States, including, but not limited to, NGOs, activists, academics and other individuals and organisations working on issues related to poverty and human rights, to provide input for the preparation of his visit to the United States in December 2017.

He asked respondents to provide input on the following thematic issues:

  1. The definition of poverty and extreme poverty that your organisation employs in the context of the United States and to what extent do official definitions at the federal and state level adequately encompass poverty in all its dimensions.
  2. The most severe human rights violations that people living in poverty and extreme poverty in the United States experience.
  3. How poverty and extreme poverty in the United States intersect with civil and political rights.
  4. How poverty and extreme poverty in the United States intersect with economic and social rights (such as the right to education or the right to work).
  5. In 2015 the Special Rapporteur presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council on economic inequality and human rights, which can be found here. Please point to interlinkages between poverty, inequality and human rights in the United States.
  6. There is an increasing debate worldwide on the impact of new technologies on societies, including in the area of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, Big Data and algorithmic decision-making. How do these developments affect the human rights of those living in poverty in the United States? The Special Rapporteur is interested in learning how these technologies may affect civil and political rights as well as economic and social rights.

The inputs received are listed below: