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Glossary Term

Social exclusion

Social exclusion is a broad term that is used to refer to the way in which groups of people or a community can effectively be excluded from society because of a combination of problems, such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime rates, illness and family breakdown.

The government's approach to social exclusion is based on tackling the problems as a whole, rather than simply focusing on its individual elements. In 1997, the Prime Minister set up the Social Exclusion Unit to provide a cross-government approach to the problem. Originally based within the Cabinet Office, the unit moved to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2002.

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