Do your bit: Focus on days highlighting international issues International Days and Observances
International Day for the Eradication of Proverty
17 October
The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 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.

2015 Theme:

"Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination"

They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17 th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor.

"Eradicating poverty is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind"

- General Assembly Resolution 51/178

October 17th 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 recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of October 17 th also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

"The campaign to make poverty history-a central moral challenge of our age-cannot remain a task for the few, it must become a calling for the many. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I urge everyone to join this struggle. Together, we can make real and sufficient progress towards the end of poverty."

Former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan
Excerpts taken from his message to be delivered on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October 2006.

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control".

At the Millennium Summit, world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half by the year 2015 the number of people living in extreme poverty - people whose income is less than one dollar a day.


Additional Resources:

GDRC has been working on themes related to this international day/observance, in its programme on Sustinable Development.

GDRC reaffirms its committment to uphold the objectives of the International Day for the Eradication of Proverty, and work towards better understanding of, and action on elimination of all forms of poverty.

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