Key UK Government Documents

BERR (now Department of Energy & Climate Change): Fuel Poverty

This archived page gives a definition of fuel poverty and details of the UK Government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy. Copies of these reports can be downloaded here:

UK Fuel Poverty Strategy 6th Annual Progress Report, 2008 [PDF, 0.4MB] → UK Fuel Poverty Strategy 5th Annual Progress Report, 2007 [PDF, 0.6MB] → UK Fuel Poverty Strategy 4th Annual Progress Report, 2006 [PDF, 1.3MB] → UK Fuel Poverty Strategy 3rd Annual Progress Report, 2005 [PDF, 0.6MB] → UK Fuel Poverty Strategy November, 2001 [PDF, 0.1MB]

And also:

Peer Review of the Methodology for Calculating the Number of Households in Fuel Poverty in England, Final Report to DTI and DEFRA, April 2005
[PDF, 0.6MB]

Fuel Poverty Methodology Documentation, 2006 [PDF, 0.1MB]

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The Cabinet Office

The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children Becoming Poor Adults is Frank Field’s Report of the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances.

The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children Becoming Poor Adults,
Dec 2010 [PDF, 0.9MB]

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Department of Health: Health Inequalities

In 2001, the UK Government gave a commitment in The NHS Plan that, for the first time ever, local targets for reducing health inequalities would be reinforced by the creation of national health inequalities targets. The new Department of Health website is at: See also to download:

Fair Society, Healthy Lives, The Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England Post 2010 [PDF, 25MB]

Also download:

Tackling Health Inequalities: 10 Years On, May 2009 [PDF, 3.8MB]

This report reviews developments in health inequalities over the last 10 years across government - from the publication of the Acheson report on health inequalities in November 1998 to the announcement of the post-2010 strategic review of health inequalities in November 2008. It covers developments across government on the wider social determinants of health and the role of the NHS. It reviews a range of key data sets covering social, economic, health and environmental indicators, and considers lessons learned and challenges for the future. Other reports to download:

Tackling Health Inequalities: 2007 Status Report on the Programme for Action, March 2008 [PDF, 2.2MB]
Tackling Health Inequalities: A Programme for Action, July 2003
[PDF, 0.7 MB]

The DOH Publications Policy and Guidance page offers links to other reports in this series.

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Department for International Development (DFID): Publications

White Paper 2006, Eliminating World Poverty: Making Governance Work for the Poor [PDF, 0.3MB]

This report sets out what the UK Government aimed to do to reduce world poverty over the next 5 years. It was a follow-up to two earlier papers:

Making Globalisation Work for the World’s Poor [PDF, 1.6MB]
White Paper 1997, Eliminating World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century [PDF, 0.7MB]

It emerged from a participatory consultation process, which ran from January to April 2006. Secretary of State Hilary Benn gave a series of 6 speeches and encouraged members of the public to write in with their views on what international development should focus on for the next 5 years. Over 600 Members of Parliament, organisations and people sent in their ideas.

Partnerships for Poverty Reduction: Changing Aid ‘Conditionality’, September 2004 [PDF, 0.3MB]

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Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Opportunity for All was a government annual report on poverty and social exclusion which was produced from 1999. The series was replaced in 2008 by The National Action Plans on Social Exclusion. The DWP pages containing these reports have now been archived. Copies of these reports can be downloaded here:

Opportunity for All: Indicators Progress Report, 2007
[PDF, 2.6MB]
Opportunity for All: Eighth Annual Report, 2006 Strategy Document
[PDF, 2.2MB]
Opportunity for All: Seventh Annual Report, 2005
[PDF, 1.3MB]
Opportunity for All: Sixth Annual Report, 2004
[PDF, 1.6MB]
Opportunity for All: Fifth Annual Report, 2003
[PDF, 0.8MB]
The Changing Welfare State: Opportunity for All, 1999 (Full Report)
[PDF, 2MB]
The Changing Welfare State: Opportunity for All, 1999 (Summary)
[PDF, 0.3MB]

You can get copies of the Opportunity for All Annual Reports for 1999-2002 (first-fourth) from the DWP Publications Archive.

Living with Poverty: A Review of the Literature on Children’s and Families’ Experiences of Poverty, 2009 [PDF, 0.3MB]

The Child Poverty Unit brings together key officials from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and HM Treasury. More information on the work of the Unit is available on the Department for Education website.

Ending Child Poverty: ‘Thinking 2020’, 2008 [PDF, 0.5MB]

The above is a report and think-pieces from the Child Poverty Unit conference by Graeme Cooke, Paul Gregg, Donald Hirsch, Naomi Jones and Anne Power. Two reports of research carried out by the National Centre for Social Research on behalf of the DWP are:

Cognitive Testing: Older People and the FRS Material Deprivation Questions, 2008 [PDF, 0.9MB]
Measuring Material Deprivation Among Older People: Methodological Study to Revise the Family Resources Survey Questions, 2008 [PDF, 0.4MB]

Below is a reply by the Government to the Second Report of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Session 2003-04:

Report on Child Poverty in the UK, 2004 [PDF, 0.3MB]

The following PDFs outline the conclusions from the consultation process started in 2002:

Measuring Child Poverty, 2003 [PDF, 0.1MB]
Measuring Child Poverty: A Consultation Document, 2002 [PDF, 0.15MB]
Measuring Child Poverty Consultation: Preliminary Conclusions, 2003
[PDF, 0.2MB]

Also see:

Low-Income and Deprivation in British Families: An Exploratory Analysis of the ‘Consistent Poverty’ Approach to Poverty Measurement Using Data for Great Britain Drawn from the Families and Children Study, 2003 [PDF, 1.0MB]

Below is a Research Working Paper by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, University of London and Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford.

Linking Child Poverty and Child Outcomes: Exploring Data and Research Strategies, 2001 [PDF, 0.2MB]

The goal to end child poverty by 2020 was set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010, and has been maintained by the Coalition Government. The Act also places duties on local authorities and their delivery partners to tackle child poverty, to which the Coalition Government has also confirmed its commitment. Read:

The Coalition Government’s Ministerial Statement [PDF, 0.5MB]

State of the Nation Report: Poverty, Worklessness and Welfare Dependency in the UK, 2010 [PDF, 1.3MB]

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The House of Commons

Opportunity for All was a government annual report on poverty and social exclusion which was produced from 1999. The series was replaced in 2008 by The National Action Plans on Social Exclusion. The DWP pages containing these reports have now been archived. Copies of these reports can be downloaded here:

Work and Pensions Committee: The Best Start in Life? Alleviating Deprivation, Improving Social Mobility and Eradicating Child Poverty 2007–08, Feb 2008 [PDF. 2.0MB]
Child Poverty in the UK: Second Report of Session 2003-04, Volume I, April 2004 [PDF, 1.0MB]

→ House of Commons Library, Poverty: Measures and Targets, March 2004 [PDF, 0.4MB]

is a report by the Social Policy Section, House of Commons Library. The Government set itself a target of reducing child poverty by a quarter by 2004. This paper follows progress towards the target and considers whether it is likely to be met.

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Northern Ireland Government: Central Anti-Poverty Unit

This unit has overall responsibility for developing, co-ordinating and driving the Government's priorities for tackling poverty and social exclusion.

Lifetime Opportunities: Government’s Anti-Poverty and Social Inclusion Strategy for Northern Ireland, 2007 [PDF, 1MB]

Since 1998, New Targeting Social Need (New TSN) was the Government’s high level policy for combating the problems of unemployment, increasing employability and addressing the causes of social exclusion. New TSN was not a separate programme with a dedicated budget but a general approach to programme development and delivery involving all departments, skewing effort and resources towards those in greatest objective need. Following devolution, the Northern Ireland Executive adopted New TSN as its approach to tackling poverty and social exclusion and published its first action plan, ‘Making it work' in March 2001. In adopting the policy, the former Executive committed to evaluating it during 2002 in order to inform future policy direction.

The Way Forward. Following the completion of the:

Interim Evaluation of New TSN: Summary & Synthesis Report, August 2003 [PDF, 0.3MB]

the Government launched proposals for a wider Anti-Poverty Strategy:

New TSN: The Way Forward [PDF, 0.7MB]

This consultation document went out in 2004. Subsequent to this process and a second round of consultation in 2005, the Anti-Poverty Strategy became the responsibility of the Central Anti-Poverty Unit, located in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. See the Central Anti-Poverty Unit Publications page.

Together with the Interim Evaluation Summary Report above, there was:

Assessment on the Implementation of Action Plans, 2002/3 [PDF, 0.3MB]
Process Evaluation [PDF, 0.9MB]
Methodology Document for Consultation, 2002/3 [PDF, 0.2MB]

New Targeting Social Need Summary Report 2005 [PDF, 0.1MB]
New TSN Summary Report 2004 [PDF, 0.1MB]
New TSN Annual Report 2003 [PDF, 0.3MB]
New TSN Annual Report 2002 [PDF, 0.2MB]
New TSN Annual Report 2001 [PDF, 0.5MB]
Vision Into Practice: The First New TSN Annual Report 1999 [PDF, 1MB]

Also available to download here:

Indicators of Social Change, 2006
[PDF, 0.07MB]
Promoting Social Inclusion: Consultation on Future Priorities, 2006
[PDF, 0.5MB]
Ageing in an Inclusive Society, 2004
[PDF, 3MB]

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Office for National Statistics: Focus on... Reports

Focus on Social Inequalities describes the different experiences of social groups in the UK today in six key areas: education, work, income, living standards, health, and participation. It looks at the 'advantaged' as well as the 'disadvantaged' and explores the relative differences between them. Part of the Focus on… series, each overview combines data from various sources to illustrate its topic and provide links to further information. These online overviews are followed and supported by comprehensive analysis in more detailed reports.

Focus on Social Inequalities 2004 Edition [PDF, 1.6MB]

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Social Exclusion Task Force (SEU)

This Task Force has been disbanded and their documents archived. Click here for PDFs and links relating to social exclusion and neighbourhood renewal. Also available to download:

The Drivers of Social Exclusion: Review of the Literature for the Social Exclusion Unit in the Breaking the Cycle Series, 2004 [PDF, 0.6MB]

Reaching Out: An Action Plan on Social Exclusion, 2006 [PDF, 1.2MB]

This document sets out the actions taken across government to improve the life chances of those who suffer, or may suffer in the future, from disadvantage. See also:

Reaching Out: Progress on Social Exclusion 2007 [PDF, 0.4MB]

Also available to download here:

Young Runaways, November 2002 [PDF, 0.4MB]
Reducing Re-Offending by Ex-Prisoners, July 2002 [PDF, 0.6MB]
Preventing Social Exclusion, March 2001 [PDF, 1MB]
A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal: National Strategy
Action Plan
, January 2001 [PDF, 1.5MB]

Understanding the Rrisks of Social Exclusion Across the Life Course (July 2009) comprises four studies that map the risk of social exclusion among people and families at key life stages. This research, commissioned by the SEU, from the Universities of Bristol and York and from the National Centre for Social Research explores the risks of social exclusion among people and families across four key life stages:

→ Families with Children [PDF, 1.4MB]
→ Youth and Young Adulthood [PDF, 1MB]
→ Working Age Adults without Dependent Children [PDF, 1.7MB]
→ Older Age [PDF, 1.4MB]

United Kingdom National Action Plan on Social Inclusion 2003-2005,
2003 [PDF, 0.3 MB]

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Treasury (HM)

In the 2003 Budget, the Chancellor announced the Child Poverty Review, to examine the welfare reform and public services changes necessary to advance towards the Government’s long-term goal of halving and eradicating child poverty. The review’s terms of reference were to set out the policies necessary to:

These reports can be downloaded here:

Tackling Child Poverty: Giving Every Child the Best Possible Start in Life, December 2001 [PDF, 0.4MB]
Ending Child Poverty: Everybody’s Business, March 2008 [PDF, 1.3MB]
Child Poverty Review, July 2004 [PDF, 1.3MB]

In 1999, the Government set an ambitious target to eradicate child poverty within a generation. Child poverty doubled in the 20 years from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s, but this rise has been reversed: 600,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty since 1997. However, a significant number of families still experience relative poverty. Ending child poverty: everybody's business builds on the considerable evidence base and analysis of child poverty and considers:

Ending child poverty: everybody's business sets out the next steps, including the measures announced in the 2008 Budget, that will make further significant progress to halving child poverty by 2010. The document also sets out the Government’s vision for a renewed drive on child poverty for the next decade including a number of areas of further work and approaches the Government will pilot that will help develop the strategy for 2020.

Financial Inclusion: An Action Plan for 2008-2011, December 2007
[PDF, 0.9MB]

This action plan sets out in detail how Government will use the £130 million Financial Inclusion Fund to achieve its financial inclusion objectives, in the three-year spending period from April 2008 to March 2011. The document sets out:

Financial Inclusion: The Way Forward, March 2007 [PDF, 0.6MB]

This document sets out the Government's strategy to tackle financial exclusion. The report highlights progress that the Government has made to date, sets out new challenges that need to be met and makes a number of key announcements:

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Welsh Assembly Government: Social Research Division

This page is a useful start point for downloading research reports relating to poverty and inequality in Wales. Some downloadable PDFs are given below, however, much of Wales’ material is housed on their StatsWales website. See also the Welsh Assembly Government’s Publications page.

Child Poverty Strategy for Wales: A new Child Poverty Strategy for Wales was consulted on in 2010. The consultation document comes in three parts:

Summary: Child Poverty Strategy and Delivery Plan for Wales [PDF, 0.1MB]
Child Poverty Strategy for Wales [PDF, 0.2MB]
Child Poverty Strategy for Wales: Delivery Plan [PDF, 0.5MB]

You can also download the 2005 strategy document:

A Fair Future for our Children: the Strategy of the Welsh Assembly Government for Tackling Child Poverty [PDF, 0.9MB]

In 2006, the Welsh Assembly Government published its own cross-cutting child poverty targets in:

Eradicating Child Poverty in Wales – Measuring Success [PDF, 0.2MB]

across a number of policy areas in order to measure our progress in tackling child poverty. The milestones and targets that have been adopted to measure progress towards eradicating child poverty by 2020 cover five main themes. They are Early Years, Education, Health, Safe Home and Community and Income Poverty.

Eradicating Child Poverty in Wales: Child Poverty Milestones and Targets Update April 2010 [PDF, 0.3MB]

This bulletin presents an overview of progress against the Welsh Assembly Government’s Child Poverty Strategy. The statistics come from a range of sources in Wales and across the UK, which are updated at different times and intervals. Figures are shown for the baseline and latest available year and in many cases data for the intervening years are also included. A full set of data and notes of the 2010 Update can be found on the StatsWales website - which the user can manipulate or download. See also:

Statistical Bulletin: Eradicating Child Poverty in Wales: Child Poverty Milestones and Targets Update 2008 [0.15MB]

Child Poverty Milestones and Targets to 2020: Update is on-line. This report presents data on the indicators that monitor progress against the Welsh Assembly Government’s Child Poverty Targets. The full set of data, analysis, and notes on the majority of the indicators are available here through the StatsWales website. Users can also manipulate and download data on this website.

Other publications:

Child Poverty in Wales: Eradication through Education? November 2008 [PDF, 1.25MB]

This is a report of the Children and Young People Committee of the Assembly. The Welsh Assembly Government launched a consultation on a duty for each agency or public body to show how they are working to eradicate Child Poverty. This duty will potentially make the eradication of Child Poverty, across a wide range of organisations, a priority.

Children in severe poverty in Wales: an agenda for action, February 2008 [PDF, 0.3MB]

This report summarises the key findings of a Save the Children and Bevan Foundation project which investigated the circumstances of children living in the most severe child poverty in Wales; reviewed effective approaches for tackling the particular barriers these families are facing and recommends a number of promising approaches to the Welsh Assembly Government. The project involved secondary analysis of data from the Family Resources Survey, an extensive literature review and a round-table seminar with experts in the field (from Wales and across the UK).

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Scottish Government: Poverty Research

The Scottish Government is committed to tackling poverty and inequality. Their overarching approach to tackle the long term drivers of poverty was set out in:

The year 2008 saw the publication of:

Achieving Our Potential: a Framework to tackle poverty and income inequality in Scotland [PDF, 0.3MB]

This paper set out a joint approach between the Scottish Government and CoSLA and links with other Scottish Government policy frameworks for addressing health inequalities:

Equally Well [PDF, 0.5MB]
The Early Years Framework [PDF, 0.6MB]
The Early Years Framework Part II [PDF, 0.5MB]

This framework is about giving all children the best start in life and the steps the Scottish Government, local partners and practitioners in early years services need to take to start on that journey.

A Tackling Poverty Board has been set up to look at reducing poverty in Scotland. See also their Poverty Research Publications page.

Taking Forward the Government Economic Strategy: a Discussion Paper on Tackling Poverty, Inequality and Deprivation in Scotland 2008 [PDF, 0.6MB]

More recently:

Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2008-09, 2010 [PDF, 0.1MB]

is a National Statistics Publication for Scotland. It presents annual estimates of the proportion and number of children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland and the distribution of household income across Scotland. The estimates are used to monitor progress towards UK and Scottish Government targets to reduce poverty and income inequality. The data published for the first time here are for the financial year April 2008 to March 2009.

Tackling Child Poverty in Scotland: a Discussion Paper, 2010 [PDF, 1MB]

In this Discussion Paper, the Scottish Government is seeking views to inform the development of its new Child Poverty Strategy for Scotland, referred to as the “Scottish strategy”. The Scottish strategy will set out the Scottish Government’s plans on doing all within its powers to tackle child poverty in Scotland in line with the requirements of the Child Poverty Act 2010. The first Scottish strategy, which requires to be reviewed every three years up until 2020, will be published in Spring 2011.

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Key European Documents

European Commission

Draft Joint Report on Social Inclusion, 2001 [PDF, 1MB]

The first European Commission policy document on poverty and social exclusion. By documenting and analysing the situation across all Member States and by identifying the key challenges for the future, this draft Joint Report on Social Inclusion contributes to strengthening the European social model. It is thus a significant advance towards the achievement of the EU's strategic goal of greater social cohesion in the Union between 2001 and 2010.

Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities DG

Portfolio of indicators for the monitoring of the European strategy for Social protection and social inclusion – 2009 update, September 2009 [PDF, 0.3MB]

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Council of the European Union: Social Protection Committee

Europe 2020 - A new Strategy for Jobs and Growth: - EU target on social inclusion, in particular through the reduction of poverty, May 2010 [PDF, 0.01MB]

Europe 2020 Strategy - SPC Contribution, May 2010 [PDF, 0.2MB]

Draft Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2010, February 2010 [PDF, 0.05MB]

Report on Indicators in the field of poverty and social exclusion, October 2001 [PDF, 0.03MB]

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EUROSTAT is the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Its mission is to provide the European Union with high-quality statistical information. For that purpose, it gathers and analyses figures from the national statistical offices across Europe and provides comparable and harmonised data for the European Union to use in the definition, implementation and analysis of Community policies. Its statistical products and services are also of great value to Europe’s business community, professional organisations, academics, librarians, NGOs, the media and citizens.

See their Publications page.

Income and Living Conditions in Europe, 2010 [PDF, 6MB]

This book is about the incomes and living standards of the people of Europe, covering employment, income inequality and poverty, housing, health, education, deprivation and social exclusion.

What can be learned from deprivation indicators in Europe, 2009 [PDF, 3.6MB]

Non-Monetary Indicators of Poverty and Social Exclusion, 1997 [PDF, 0.3MB]

EUROSTAT contracted CESIS - Centro de Estudos para a Intervenção Social - to carry out this research project as part of its statistical programme.

Eurobarometer Series: Special Eurobarometer reports are based on in-depth thematical studies carried out for various services of the European Commission or other EU Institutions and integrated in Standard Eurobarometer's polling waves.

Social Precarity and Social Integration, October 2002 [PDF, 0.7MB]

The report is concerned with charting trends in social precarity, that is the factors that are associated with higher risks of social exclusion. It draws upon a survey specially commissioned by DG Employment and conducted with the framework of the Eurobarometer studies (Eurobarometer, 56.1), which allows for comparison with a range of earlier studies.

Statistics in Focus series:

Material Deprivation in the EU, 2005 [PDF, 0.3MB]

Persistent income poverty and social exclusion in the European Union, 2000 PDF, 0.3MB]

This Statistics in Focus was carried out jointly by EUROSTAT and Statistics Netherlands. Based on data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP), it analyses to what extent income poverty persists over several years and how it is related to social exclusion within the European Union.

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World Health Organization (Europe)

The WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development was set up by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with cooperation and support from the Ministry of Health and the Veneto Region of Italy. Its key responsibility is to provide evidence on, and support Member States in acting upon, the socioeconomic determinants of health.

Poverty and social exclusion in the WHO European Region: health systems respond, 2010 [PDF, 1.9MB]

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Key International Documents

Commission for Africa

Our Common Interest, March 2005 [PDF, 3.5MB]

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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat is a vital interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action.

Rethinking Poverty: Report on the World Social Situation 2010, 2009 [PDF, 8MB]
The Inequality Predicament: Report on the World Social Situation 2005, 2005 [PDF, 1.9MB]

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United Nations General Assembly

‘Zedillo Report’ Executive summary of the report of the High-level Panel on Financing for Development, 2001 [PDF, 0.4MB]

A Panel was set up under the chairmanship of Ernesto Zedillo to recommend strategies for the mobilization of resources required to accelerate equitable and sustainable growth in developing countries as well as economies in transition, and to fulfil the poverty and development commitments enshrined in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

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The International Labour Organization (ILO)

Based in Geneva, the ILO was founded in 1919 to promote social justice and, thereby, to contribute to universal and lasting peace. Its tripartite structure is unique among agencies affiliated to the United Nations; the ILO’s Governing Body includes representatives of governments, and of employers’ and workers’ organizations. These three constituencies are active participants in regional and other meetings sponsored by the ILO, as well as in the International Labour Conference – a world forum that meets annually to discuss social and labour questions.

World Social Security Report 2010/11: Providing coverage in times of crisis and beyond, 2010 [PDF, 6MB]
Can low-income countries afford basic social security? 2008 [PDF, 0.2MB]

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United Nations Human Rights Council

Resolution 7/27. Human rights and extreme poverty, March 2008 [PDF, 0.0MB]
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the draft guiding principles on extreme poverty and human rights: the rights of the poor, February 2008 [PDF, 0.09MB]
Extreme poverty and human rights: the rights of the poor, (Draft Guiding Principles) August 2006 [PDF, 0.04MB]

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UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy, was established in 1988 to strengthen the research capability of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and to support its advocacy for children worldwide.

The Children Left Behind: a league table of inequality in child well-being in the world’s rich countries (Report Card 9), Nov 2010 [PDF, 1.5MB]
Children’s Perspectives on Economic Adversity: A Review of the Literature, March 2008 [PDF, 0.3MB]

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United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

UNRISD is an autonomous UN agency engaging in multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. Through its research, UNRISD stimulates dialogue and contributes to policy debates on key issues of social development within and outside the United Nations system.

Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics, August 2010 [PDF, 4.2MB]

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