The United States(US) Census Bureau caps the poverty total population at 41 million people. However, this number, present in the First World and in the richest nation on the planet, signifies a civil and political failing to deliver full rights to all Americans.
To this end, at some point today, here in Washington, DC, United Nations(UN) Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston, will offer up a preliminary report on the state of poverty in the US to mark the conclusion of his research and tour of poverty-stricken areas in America, including Puerto Rico. He will present a full report of his findings before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, in June 2018.
Charged by the international body to conduct research and analysis, Alston has been shocked by the deprivation of social means to food and shelter across the US. In Butler County, Alabama, where "raw sewage flows from houses through exposed PVC pipes and into open trenches and pits", Alston has declared: "I think it's very uncommon in the First World...this is not a sight that one normally sees. I'd have to say that I haven't seen this..."
Poverty and hunger insecurity are permanently linked to human rights. Victims often fall short of full access to the social and political systems - voting and civic participation are hindered, thus prolonging the terrible sufferings. Therefore, all failings on poverty and hunger are human rights issues.