Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to the United States of America

The Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights visited the United States of America from 1 to 15 December 2017, in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 35/19. The purpose of the visit was to report to the Council on the extent to which the Government’s policies and programmes relating to extreme poverty are consistent with its human rights obligations and to offer constructive recommendations to the Government and other stakeholders. The Special Rapporteur is grateful to the Government for inviting him, for facilitating his visit and for continuing its cooperation with the Council’s accountability mechanisms that apply to all States.

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur met with government officials at the federal, state, county and city levels, members of Congress, representatives of civil society, academics and people living in poverty. He also received more than 40 detailed written submissions in advance of his visit. He visited California (Los Angeles and San Francisco), Alabama (Lowndes County and Montgomery), Georgia (Atlanta), Puerto Rico (San Juan, Guayama and Salinas), West Virginia (Charleston) and Washington, D.C. He is deeply grateful to all those who organized community consultations for him in these locations, and to the US Human Rights Network, which devoted a full day of its 2017 national convening in Atlanta to his country visit.

The strict word limit for this report makes it impossible to delve deeply into even the key issues. Fortunately, there is already much excellent scholarship and many civil society
analyses of the challenges of poverty in the United States. In the present report, the Special  Rapporteur aims to bring together some of those analyses, identify the key poverty-related problems and explain the relevance of the international human rights obligations of the United States in this context. As with all such country visits, the consideration of the report by the Human Rights Council will enable other States to examine the extent to which the United States is living up to its international obligations.

– United Nations

Read the full report here.