Imposed Poverty is a Crime Against Humanity

A British family from the film Smashing Kids, 1975. Photograph: John Garrett
A British family from the film Smashing Kids, 1975. Photograph: John Garrett

Every night many children from poor families all over the world go to bed hungry. Either in the least developed countries where mass poverty is chronic, in the developing countries such as Indonesia but also in the developed countries such as US, UK and France.

In our 21st century modern life, humanity still can not eradicate poverty from this world. It is not a surprise for those who are awake and understand the political and economic situations in the world as they know that poverty is by design, created by a few of greedy super rich and powerful ruling elites. 

This heart-wrenching article “Britain’s Class War On Children” written by renowned journalist John Pilger speaks of the daily social violence experienced by poor families as they struggle to fulfil their basic necessities of food and shelter. 

Poverty can happen to anyone, just one misstep in life, one misfortune that can lead to a series of downward spirals to a life of sentenced misery. Children are the ones who most suffered from this crime against humanity.

“Study after study shows that the people who suffer and die early from the diseases of poverty brought on by a poor diet, sub-standard housing and the priorities of the political elite and its hostile “welfare” officials – are working people. In 2020, one in three preschool British children suffers like this. “

“This is what poverty does. In my experience, its damage is like the damage of war; it can last a lifetime, spread to loved ones and contaminate the next generation. It stunts children, brings on a host of diseases and … “it’s like being in prison”.”

As the government of Boris Johnson in UK and Macron in France who work for the ruling elites implement neoliberal capitalism such as austerity programs to enrich their bosses, more and more people will fall into poverty.

According to the Children’s Commissioner in UK more than 600,000 children have fallen into poverty since 2012 and the total is expected to exceed 5 million. In France the poverty rate has been on an increasing trend since 2017. In 2019, based on INSEE (The French National Institute of Statistic and Economic Study)’s data there were 9,3 millions poor people in France and it is estimated by 2020 that it will reach its 10 millions mark. The inequality gap between rich and poor has increased as well, as during the corona pandemic the world billionaires’ wealth has increased significantly.

While the third world that is rich of natural resources is plundered by corporations owned by the ruling elites, inside their own countries these elites also plundered its fellow citizens through rabid capitalism. Through policies such as zero tax or reduced tax for the super rich and corporation bailout using taxpayers’ money, wealth has been transferred from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. There is no such thing as trickle down economics, it is a fallacy. 

In countries such as US and UK where military industrial complex have a strong grip over government, the budget for the defence never cease to increase. It is used to wage war that kills innocent civilians, invade countries to steal their natural resources and creating humanitarian crisis such as babies and children dying of famine in Yemen and the slave trade in Libya. 

Boris Johnson recently announced a defence budget of 16.5 billion pounds which makes UK the highest military spender in Europe. This amount of money can be used to help the social welfare of the british people especially the poor. 

How many more people have to be pushed into extreme poverty and suffering just to satisfy the insatiable greed of the super rich? How many more children have to be sacrificed, die and suffer because of the horrors that poverty caused?

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