This article reflects on the categories of poverty, inequality and social exclusion as theoretical references to analyze social policy. It highlights the issues of poverty and inequality to review the implementation and development of public social policies in Brazil. It analyzes Brazil's social situation and social programs historically aimed at confronting poverty in the country. It emphasizes the recent conjuncture that indicates a decline in rates of poverty and social inequality and increased budget resources for financing social programs, particularly since enactment of the federal Constitution of 1988. It analyzes social programs implemented in Brazil to confront poverty and social inequality, indicating their limits and the importance of income transfer programs for social protection.
poverty; social inequality; social exclusion; social policy