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International Day Against Poverty

International Day Against Poverty: Uniting For A Just World

Introduction of International Day Against Poverty:

The International Day Against Poverty, observed annually on October 17th, is a solemn reminder of the global struggle against one of humanity's most persistent and pressing challenges. Poverty, with its devastating social and economic consequences, affects millions of people worldwide. This day serves as an opportunity to reflect on the history, significance, theme, and aim of this crucial observance.

History of the International Day Against Poverty:

The roots of the International Day Against Poverty can be traced back to the efforts of Joseph Wresinski, a French priest, and social activist. In 1987, Wresinski founded the International Movement ATD Fourth World, an organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty. Wresinski's vision was not just to alleviate poverty but to involve the poor themselves in the struggle to overcome it.

On October 17, 1987, Wresinski's vision became a reality when more than 100,000 people gathered on the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris to honor the victims of poverty, violence, and hunger. During this historic event, Wresinski unveiled a commemorative stone and proclaimed that "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 solemn duty."

In 1992, the United Nations officially recognized October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, commemorating the date of Wresinski's declaration. Since then, it has become a global day of action, drawing attention to the urgent need to address poverty and inequality worldwide.

Significance of the International Day Against Poverty:

The International Day Against Poverty holds immense significance on several fronts:

Raising Awareness: Poverty often remains hidden in the shadows of society. This day serves as a reminder to the world that poverty exists in all corners of the globe, and its eradication requires collective action.

Advocacy for the Vulnerable: It provides a platform for the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals and communities to voice their concerns, experiences, and aspirations.

Promoting Sustainable Development: Poverty is not just a social issue but also a barrier to sustainable development. By focusing on poverty eradication, the international community acknowledges its role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Inspiring Action: The day encourages governments, civil society organizations, and individuals to take concrete steps to combat poverty and promote social inclusion.

Theme of the International Day Against Poverty:

Each year, the International Day Against Poverty adopts a specific theme to guide its commemoration. These themes are chosen to address the evolving challenges and contexts of poverty eradication. Some recent themes have included "Acting together to empower children, their families, and communities to end poverty," and "Answering the Call to End Poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies."

The themes reflect a holistic approach to poverty eradication, emphasizing the need for multidimensional strategies that encompass education, healthcare, economic empowerment, and social inclusion.

Aim of the International Day Against Poverty

The primary aim of the International Day Against Poverty is to galvanize global efforts to eradicate poverty and promote social justice. Key objectives include:

Mobilizing Support: The day mobilizes individuals, communities, governments, and organizations to support poverty reduction programs and policies.

Advocating for Inclusion: It highlights the importance of including the voices and perspectives of people living in poverty in decision-making processes.

Promoting Sustainable Solutions: The observance emphasizes the need for sustainable and inclusive development strategies that address the root causes of poverty.

Measuring Progress: It encourages the tracking of progress in poverty reduction and the fulfillment of global commitments like the SDGs.


The International Day Against Poverty is a poignant reminder that poverty remains a global challenge that requires sustained and collective action. Its history, significance, themes, and aims underscore the importance of addressing poverty as a fundamental human rights issue and a prerequisite for a just and equitable world. On this day, we should renew our commitment to building a future where no one is left behind, and poverty is relegated to the annals of history.

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