This book explores the potential contribution of a human rights perspective to the development of policies and programmes that strengthen the sustainability of poor people's assets and livelihood security. A review of key elements in human rights, livelihoods and sustainable development debates identifies areas of common concern. This shows that concepts of livelihoods and sustainable development both require a stronger analysis of power relations, institutions and politics. A human rights framework provides an entry point for the analysis of asymmetries in power and the institutions which reinforce these unequal relations. A conceptual framework for the analysis of human rights dimensions of livelihoods is developed, supported by case study material. This operates at three levels - the normative, analytical and operational and includes such tools as a human rights and livelihoods matrix, a rights regime analysis, channels of contestation matrix and an entry point checklist. The authors argue that a rights and livelihoods perspective provides a more concrete understanding of social sustainability and sustainable development. The book concludes with two propositions for analysing social sustainability from a rights and livelihoods perspective.