Society has long taken a charitable approach to poverty — but many of today’s poverty advocates are moving beyond this, approaching it as a human rights violation. While Canada has signed various international decrees and covenants, poverty is still not widely viewed this way. Nor are there institutions in place to support such an approach. But change is afoot.

Malika Favre art of piggy banks seen from above with one broken on UNIGNORABLE colour

One in seven Canadians lives in poverty; of all cities, Toronto has the highest poverty rate at 17 per cent, according to a 2017 report by the Citizens for Public Justice. Thanks to the growing, persistent reality of precarious employment, 51 per cent of Canadians living in poverty are part of the “working poor.”