The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is on October 17, and we want to observe it by considering how we can help. Poverty is a real crisis that affects millions of people around the world. This is a day to acknowledge the suffering of people who have to deal with the consequences of poverty — hunger, violence, and homelessness. It is also a day to participate in the global campaign to end poverty.
History of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
On October 17, 1987, more than 100,000 people came together in Paris, France, to honour those suffering in the shackles of poverty. The gathering was at the location where the Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948.
On that day, people had also come together for the unveiling of a commemorative stone by Father Joseph Wresinski, a humanitarian. The commemorative stone declared that poverty violated human rights and everyone’s duty to come together to work against it.
In December 1992, the United Nations adopted a resolution to observe a day when poverty would be in focus. In honour of the gathering and unveiling in Paris in 1987, the United Nations selected October 17 as the date to observe International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
This day was set aside to encourage all countries to work actively to remove poverty by taking steps towards sustainable development. It was also an opportunity to allow the poverty-stricken to be heard.
The U.N. recognized that the poor are the experts in their situations and know what they need. This day is meant to be an opportunity to work with people living in poverty to identify long-term solutions to their immediate problems.
Poverty can be eradicated. It is not an impossible task, and including poor people in the conversation is the first step. That, combined with the promotion of growth and employment opportunities, addressing gender inequalities, and improving public facilities, will help eradicate poverty worldwide.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Timeline
Unveiling the Commemorative Stone
Father Joseph Wresinski unveils a stone that declares poverty a violation of human rights.
The U.N. Creates the Day
The U.N. passes a resolution to observe October 17 as International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
International Committee for October 17 is Formed
This committee is formed to promote and observe the day to eradicate poverty in the best way.
The Third U.N. Decade to Eradicate Poverty
2018 to 2027 is declared the third decade to eradicate poverty by accelerating global actions.
How to Observe International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Join the online campaign
Use the hashtag #EndPoverty to add your voice to the worldwide campaign and amplify the voices of the poor, trying to make their needs heard.
Organize an event
Reach out to homeless shelters and people in your community to organize an event where people living in poverty can explain their needs. Invite your community leaders to this event and work with them on a plan to help the poor in your area.
Volunteer with an organization working with poor people
Lend your time to an organization or a soup kitchen working with the less privileged so you can give back to your community on this day.
Importance of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
This is a global problem.
All around the world, people are living in extreme conditions of hunger and fear, and these problems need multi-faceted solutions.
Poor people need to be heard.
The people who have the problem are always the experts on that issue. This day offers an important opportunity to resolve poverty by making sure people who experience it can offer their solutions.
Poverty is solvable
If we all work together to address the social and environmental issues that cause poverty, we can eradicate poverty from the world.