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Freedom, Poverty and Human Rights

Poverty is the failure to acquire certain fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms from disease, hunger, and illiteracy. In order for people to have the freedom to live a healthy life, there cannot be obstacles preventing the legitimate pursuit of good health and well-being. Simultaneously, society must support individuals by creating an environment that allows for the achievement of good health. Once these basic freedoms are acquired, an individual attains a level of minimal human dignity. According to the human rights approach, people have inalienable rights to these freedoms. It is a human right to be free from hunger and disease. Once people attain a minimal level of human dignity they are then able to gain something greater – the freedom of choice and the power to create a better life.


Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2004). Human Rights and Poverty Reduction: A Conceptual Framework. Retrieved from

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