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The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights condemns “intrusive” Work Capability Assessment and the demonization of poor people as undeserving.

What:  Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, says that “the main barrier to reduction of poverty…is the perception of poor people as lazy, irresponsible, dishonest and, fundamentally, undeserving of aid”. This, she says, “is in no small part the impact of a sensationalist media and political class eager to be seen as cracking down on ‘scrounger. She also mentions the UK’s requirement that recipients of disability benefits undergo “intrusive tests of their ability to work”.

Why significant: A UN human rights expert highlighting the adverse effects of stigmatising welfare claimants and the role played by the government and the media in producing this stigmatisation. 


'Stigma and Exclusion to Rights and Dignity: a Human Rights Approach to Poverty', Beeton, 2013