The International day for the eradication of poverty is celebrated every year on the 17th of October all around the world. This day promotes dialogue and understanding between people and their communities, and the society at large.
On the 17th of October 1987, more than a hundred thousand people came together in Paris, France to honour those who were suffering in the shackles of poverty. People had also come together for the unveiling of the commemorative stone by Father Joseph Wrenlsinski. Father Joseph Wresinski had recognized that the governments often ignored the plight of those living in poverty, leading to feelings of rejection, shame, and humiliation. As a result of this one of the primary goals of the day is to recognize the struggles of the impoverished and to make their voices heard by the governments and citizens. Participation by the poorest of people is an important aspect of the observance of the day.
People of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on the 17th of October to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. This day was set aside to encourage all countries to work actively to remove poverty by taking steps toward sustainable development. It was also an opportunity to allow the poverty-stricken to be heard.
The UN recognized that poor people are the experts of their own 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 to eradicate poverty from the world.
UNESCO is convinced that a sustainable fight against poverty requires the strengthening of individuals’ capacities through education, science and support for a creative economy, which are sources of employment as well as pride and dignity. UNESCO puts all its expertise at the service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular Goal 1 “end poverty in all its forms everywhere “
The International Committee for October 17 was launched in 2008 to promote the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in its founding spirit. The composition of the committee is unique with members including people with real-life experience of extreme poverty and human rights defenders engaged in the fight against poverty. Every year, the International Committee engages in a consultation process through the Forum on Overcoming Poverty to select a theme for the annual observance of October 17 by the UN with input from people with real-life experiences of poverty.
This year’s theme of the international day for the eradication of Poverty is “Dignity for all practice” which is the umbrella theme for 2022 -2023.