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Extreme Poverty in America: United Nations Special Rapporteur’s 2017 Visit

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This map was designed and researched by Raphael B. Hirsch with the assistance of Jules Rochielle Sievert and under the guidance of Martha Davis, in collaboration with the UN Special Rapporteur, NuLawLab, PHRGE, and the Ford Foundation. All rights reserved, 2018.


The following map chronicles the full extent of what the Special Rapporteur reviewed in the context of his visit. Our goal is to educate the viewer to the breadth of extreme poverty in the United States by utilizing this interactive media map. Our sustainable future depends upon current collective awareness.

Between December 4, 2017 and December 15, 2017, Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty conducted an official visit to the United States. He examined extreme poverty and its impact on human rights. Prior to his visit, many civil society organizations submitted information concerning extreme poverty in the U.S. and proposed locations for the visit. On the map, locations visited by the Special Rapporteur are demarcated in green, while proposed locations are shown in red; civil society submissions addressing poverty in general and with no specific geographic location are found in pink at the map point at The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A complete list of submissions may also be found here, and a comprehensive list of press releases may found in the blue Washington, D.C. location.

Upon concluding his visit, the Special Rapporteur held a press conference regarding his preliminary findings. This press event may be viewed in its entirety here, and is also embedded in the map point associated with Washington, D.C., where the press conference occurred. Alston’s preliminary findings may be accessed at: “American Dream is rapidly becoming American Illusion.” To learn more about the impact of extreme poverty in America and his findings click here.

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  • Locations Submitted for Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston to Visit.
  • General Submissions Without Specified Locations and Broader Recommendations for Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston to Address.
  • Press Releases.
  • Special Rapporteur Philip Alston's Stops During His 2017 Tour on Extreme Poverty.