In 2001, 1,1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day. The proportion of the developing world’s population living in extreme economic poverty – defined as living on less than $1 per day – has fallen from 28 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2001. So, some progress has taken place, but the figures still remain too high. Infant mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries have fallen from 86 per 1,000 live births in 1980 to 60 in 2002. Life expectancy in these countries has risen from 60 to 65 between 1980 and 2002. But the picture is very uneven across the globe. Global trends in poverty reduction have been dominated by rapid growth in China and the East Asia and Pacific region. But in Sub-Saharan Africa, where GDP per capita shrank 14 percent, poverty rose from 41 percent in 1981 to 46 percent in 2001, and an additional 150 million people were living in extreme poverty. (source)
Now, what has this to do with human rights? Well, obviously poverty is a violation of human rights. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration states:
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
And we all know the devastating effects of poverty on other human rights. More on poverty.