This volume brings to light a variety of previously ignored ways in which law can be central to the causes and structure of poverty, and explores new legal arenas and theories that could form the basis of a transformative use of law in order to reduce poverty.
The contributions range over a wide terrain, including international human rights conventions, domestic constitutional and statutory provisions, and the law relating to social insurance and social assistance. Poverty is examined as being in certain respects legally constructed (i.e. there are ways in which specific laws create and exacerbate poverty). Also explored is the role of law in establishing specific rights or entitlements that contribute to reducing poverty, in particular social security provision and litigation as a tool for combating poverty. Finally, and most concretely, the volume examines divergent approaches to legal initiatives addressing specific aspects of poverty such as tackling child labour, reducing economic discrimination against women, and protecting the freedom of employees to organize collectively. Throughout the volume is an acute awareness of the contradictory ways in which law can impact on poverty, and on the reality of poverty as not simply a domestic issue, but a cross-border and global challenge.