International Day for the eradication of Poverty

| October 12th, 2013

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated every year on October 17 throughout the world. In 1993 the UN General Assembly, by resolution 47/196, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.

However, the first commemoration of the event took place in Paris, France, in 1987 when 100,000 people gathered on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza at the Trocadéro to honour victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear. This call was made by Joseph Wresinski (1917–1988) founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World.

The text engraved in the stone reads as follows:

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. – Joseph Wresinski (1917–1988) founder of ATD Fourth World

The theme for this year, 2013, is:

Working together towards a world without discrimination

Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty


Our world has been facing many crises for many years and it has become apparent to more and more people that urgent changes are needed in order to overcome these problems. One very important change is to learn from and apply the life experiences and knowledge of people living in extreme poverty.

Yet, today, the valuable contribution of people living in extreme poverty is too often denied, seen as negative, ignored or not taken into account. This is blatant discrimination and denial of the dignity and human rights of people living in poverty. Therefore, our societies must break the silence of extreme poverty. And we demonstrate how to break this silence on 17 October, every year and all year long by our solidarity with people living in poverty, our commitments and action.