International Day for Eradication of Poverty observed globally

Oct 17, 2018 08:29 IST
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty observed globally

17 October : International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed across the world on October 17, 2018. This year's theme of the day is 'coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.'


The year 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the day by the UN General Assembly, in its resolution dated December 22, 1992.

The year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski, which inspired the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The year also marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is a fundamental connection between extreme poverty and human rights and the people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by many human rights violations.


The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty aims to ensure that the active participation of people living in extreme poverty and those furthest behind is a driving force in all efforts made to overcome poverty, including in the design and implementation of programmes and policies which affect them.

The day highlights that only by creating and nurturing a genuine partnership with people living with poverty will it be possible to build an inclusive world where all people can enjoy their full human rights and lead lives with dignity.

Human Rights and Extreme Poverty

Joseph Wresinski was one of the first persons to highlight the direct link between human rights and extreme poverty.

In February 1987, he appealed to the Human Rights Commission to examine the question of extreme poverty and human rights.

He observed that wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. He said that to come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.

Key Highlights

The commemoration of October 17 each year demonstrates how the society can achieve greater social inclusion by enabling people from all walks of life to come together to respect the human rights and dignity of people living in poverty.

It underscores the importance of reaching out to people living in poverty and building an alliance around their priorities with citizens from all backgrounds to end extreme poverty.

The government policies alone cannot create the social inclusion that is fundamental to reaching those left furthest behind and overcoming poverty in all its dimensions.

The commemoration also recognises the important mutual roles and relationships that people have with each other based on common and equal dignity.


The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was established by the UN General Assembly on October 17, 1987.

On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris , where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger.

They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected.

Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17 to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor.

The day presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard and a moment to recognise that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.

The commemoration also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

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