Humiliation and Justice for Children Living in Poverty

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As a matter of justice children are entitled to many different things. In this paper we will argue that one of these things is positive self-relations (self-confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem), and that this implies that they must not be humiliated. This allows us to criticize poverty as unjust and to conclude that it should be alleviated. We will defend this claim in three steps: (1) we will introduce and examine three types of positive self-relations (self-confidence, self-respect, and self-esteem) and argue that children are entitled to all of these; (2) we will move on to examine the concept of humiliation and argue that acts of humiliating are unjust even if the victims do not experience them as humiliating; (3) finally, we will provide five arguments as to why it is humiliating for children to live in poverty. The five arguments presented in the last section are: (a) poverty is connected to other forms of injustice; (b) poverty is undeserved and represents an arbitrary feature of affected children for which they cannot be held responsible; (c) poverty is widespread among children; (d) poverty is imposed on children because they are part of a larger social group; (e) poverty is an enduring humiliation and not just an occasional incident.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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