The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is an international observance celebrated each year on October 17 throughout the world.

The first commemoration of the event took place in Paris, France in 1987 when 100 thousand people gathered on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza at the Trocadéro to honor victims of poverty, hunger, violence, and fear at the unveiling of a commemorative stone by Joseph Wresinski, founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World.

In 1992, four years after Wresinski’s death, the United Nations officially designated October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Early in his career as an activist, Wresinski recognized that governments often ignored the plight of those living in poverty, leading to feelings of rejection, shame, and humiliation.

As a result, one of the primary goals of the Day is to recognize the struggles of the impoverished and to make their voices heard by governments and citizens. Participation by the poorest of people is an important aspect of the observance of the Day.

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

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