The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated annually on October 17 since 1993. This day was declared by the UN General Assembly (Resolution No. A/RES/47/196) on December 22, 1992.
In this Resolution, the UN General Assembly called on all states to campaign on eliminating poverty.
On October 17, 1987, about 100 thousand people from several countries of the world gathered at the Place du Trocadéro (the Human Rights Square) in Paris, thus expressing their rejection of poverty. Demanding the observance of human rights, human rights activists supported the slogan of Paul Józef Wrzesiński, the founder of the International movement ATD Fourth World: “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our sacred duty”. On this day, a memorial stone was placed on the Trocadéro Square.
Subsequently, the Day for Struggle to Overcome Extreme Poverty was celebrated by non-governmental organizations annually, until the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly.
According to the UN press service, it is unacceptable that millions of people live in extreme poverty in a world with such a developed economy, technology and the availability of financial resources. Poverty is not just an economic problem, but it is depriving people of the opportunity to live a decent life.
People living in poverty face many challenges that prevent them from exercising their rights and overcome poverty, including dangerous working conditions, unsafe housing, lack of healthy food, unequal access to justice, no possibility of political participation, and limited access to healthcare.
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty addresses the challenge of achieving social and environmental justice for all. The growing recognition of the multidimensionality of poverty means that the above two issues are inextricably linked and that social justice cannot be fully realized without simultaneously eradicating environmental injustice. While progress has been made in addressing poverty in terms of income, less success has been achieved in tackling other important issues, including the growing impact of the environment on human lives, through a more holistic approach.
The goal of poverty eradication is not only to help poor people, but to provide a decent standard of living for every woman and every man. Eradicating poverty will transform all humanity.
October 17 is a day when the world can actively raise awareness of the hardships and plagues of those living in poverty. Since the inception of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, its essential component has been the participation of the poor themselves.