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Violence - the shackle of the poor

Four billion people are not protected from violence by their countries' legal systems. Police violence, robbery, rape and human trafficking threaten the lives of the poorest every day. According to new studies, they fear indiscriminate violence even more than a lack of water, food and medicine.

People who have to survive on less than two dollars a day and are exposed to the shackles of everyday violence remain trapped in poverty. Violence against the poor prevents any sustainable development; an aspect that must also be reconsidered in development cooperation.

This book by the human rights activist Gary Haugen and the public prosecutor Victor Boutros shows that a profound structural change in the police and judicial systems of many developing and emerging countries is necessary - and possible - in order to actually enforce human rights for the poorest.

Voices on the book

“All my life I have seen with my own eyes that talent, ambition and the willingness to work hard are equally distributed among all people on earth. But some of them are simply struggling to survive day in and day out. Violence - The Shackle of the Poor is a poignant reminder that if we are to live in a twenty-first century of shared wealth, we must not turn a blind eye to the violence that threatens all of humanity. "Bill Clinton (former President of the USA)

“Violence - The Shackle of the Poor” opens the much-needed debate on how to combat violence against the poor. True and shocking eyewitness accounts show why this concern is so urgent. The book reminds us that a functioning legal system is not a privilege, but a fundamental right of every human being. Anyone who reads Gary Haugen's work is both touched and informed. ”Madeleine Albright (former US Secretary of State)

“All too often, the approaches to solving the major problems of our world are formulated in a hasty and simplistic manner. Gary Haugen, on the other hand, approaches them with expertise, wisdom and realism. Violence - the shackle of the poor is a milestone. This book is as clever as it is moving, as informative as it is creative. "

Kevin Bales, the world's leading slavery expert and professor of modern slavery at the Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull and co-founder of Free the Slaves

"Violence - the shackle of the poor provides solid reasoning about the destructive power of ubiquitous violence in the lives of the poor. It destroys all efforts to escape poverty. I was confronted with this problem in my own work and I am impressed by the way it unfolds here. I hope that more people will read this important book. "

Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank (microfinance credit institution)

Enforcement of laws and well-functioning legal systems are prerequisites for economic progress. They are even more important for social progress. Violence - the shackle of the poor is an appeal to the global community to work together much more intensively than before to combat violence, crime and abuse. This is the only way to secure the future of humanity.“

Klaus Schwab, founder and president of the World Economic Forum


Fighting global poverty, justice, aid projects Ethical values, protection against exploitation Judicial system, legal systems, protective mechanisms Global economic justice, jurisdiction Locust effect, injustice as a system Human rights, rights and protection of the poor population Fight for survival, threats, failure of the legal system Human trafficking, debt bondage , Forced prostitution human rights, global justice, hope human rights violations, police violence, hunger, robbery private justice, public lawlessness legal security for the poor, development aid, emerging economies non-fiction book, recommendation by leading politicians protection from violence, basic human rights trauma, suffering, traumatic events, individual counts, opportunities for help , new chances

Authors and affiliations

  • Gary A. Haugen
  • Victor Boutros
  1. 1.International Justice MissionWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Department of Justice Washington USA

About the authors

Gary A. Haugen is the founder and president of International Justice Mission - an international human rights organization that protects the poor from violence, slavery and human trafficking. IJM works with local authorities to free victims of violence, bring perpetrators to justice, empower those affected and improve legal systems. IJM is the largest organization that has made this task the goal of their work.

Victor Boutrosis a federal attorney in the United States of America. He heads a law enforcement unit that identifies and prosecutes large human trafficking networks. It also detects serious violations of police or state misconduct such as corruption or abuse of office.

The editors of the German edition:

Dietmar Roller M.A is a development and human rights expert. He lived with his family in Tanzania for a long time, was the responsible program director of a large German NGO and has been CEO of IJM Germany since 2013.

Rabea Rentschler Dipl. Theol. is a journalist and is involved as an IJM ambassador. She lives with her family near Heidelberg.

Bibliographic information