I realise that a list of quotes sucks out any impact they may have on their own... but here's a random juke box selection anyway. I have been revising poverty for school today and have been stirred...
"Poverty is the principle cause of human rights violations in the world" Office of the High commission of human rights, 1999
"'Tis my maxim that there is no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty"
George Faquhar, 1707
Impoverished young people in Brazil are "losing the right to dream" President Lula
(da Silva, 2003)
"The worst thing about living in poverty is the way it gives others permission to treat you- as if you don't matter" Statement from Low income parents to the APPGP, 2002
"The need to lend a voice to suffering is a condition of all truth"
and from my Head of Department, bit long but a pretty powerful:
If the term "poverty" carries with it the implication and moral imperative that something should be done about it, then the study of poverty is only ultimately justifiable if it influences individual and social attitudes and actions. This must be borne in mind constantly if discussion on the definition of poverty us to avoid becoming an academic debate worthy of Nero- a semantic ans statistical squabble that is parasitic, voyeuristic and utterly unconstructive and which treats "the poor" as passive objects of attention, whether benign or malevolent- a discussion that is part of the problem rather than part of the solution"