Pro-'workfare' governments justify their policies by claiming 'workfare' helps enhance self-esteem and promote the dignity of unemployed recipients. On the other hand, welfare activists argue that 'workfare' suppresses the dignity of unemployed persons. This book examines the concept of human dignity in this context and attempts to clarify its meaning. For the first time, it formulates a framework for evaluating the dignity of welfare recipients; uses this framework to explore the dignity of unemployed persons in four different welfare systems: UK, Sweden, China and Hong Kong and compares the conditions of human dignity in each case and identifies factors which enhance or suppress it. Human dignity and welfare systems is important reading for students and academics in the fields of social policy, social work, philosophy and politics. It is also a useful reference text for politicians, welfare administrators and activists.