Human Lives Human Rights: The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987.
On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger.
According to Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
The United Nations General Assembly, by adopting Resolution 196/47 on December 22, 1992, designated October 17th as “International day for the eradication of Poverty”.
This day is observed to raise awareness about the importance of ending poverty around the world. Also, on this day, the voice of the deprived can be heard by the world.
According to the definitions quoted in the international documents, especially the 2030 Sustainable Development Guidelines, there are two types of poverty:
Absolute poverty, which refers to severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.
Overall poverty takes various forms, including: lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods; hunger and malnutrition; ill health; limited or lack of access to education and other basic services; increased morbidity and mortality from illness; homelessness and inadequate housing; unsafe environments and social discrimination and exclusion.
Every year, the United Nations chooses a theme for this international day in collaboration with other organizations that work in the field of fighting poverty.
The theme for this year’s event is “DIGNITY FOR ALL IN PRACTICE: The commitments we make together for social justice, peace, and the planet”.
The current reality shows that 1.3 billion people still live in multidimensional poverty with almost half of them children and youth.
Inequalities of opportunities and income are sharply on the rise and, each year, the gap between the rich and poor gets even wider.
In the past year, as millions struggle through the erosion of workers’ rights and job quality to make it to another day, corporate power and the wealth of the billionaire class have recorded an unprecedented rise.
Statistics and Figures
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have pushed between 143 and 163 million people into poverty in 2021.
Almost half of the projected new poor will be in South Asia, and more than a third in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In the Middle East and North Africa, extreme poverty rates nearly doubled between 2015 and 2018, from 3.8 percent to 7.2 percent, spurred by the conflicts in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Yemen.
COVID-19 has already been the worst reversal on the path towards the goal of global poverty reduction in last three decades.