The United Nations (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, also known as End Poverty Day, is annually observed across the globe on 17 October to raise awareness about the global issue of poverty and how it is a violation of human rights and human dignity.
- This day also aims to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence, and hunger, and to promote understanding and dialogue between people living in poverty and the wider society.
The theme of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2023 is, “Decent Work and Social Protection: Putting Dignity in Practice for All”.
- The 2023 theme focuses on empowering workers, ensuring fair treatment, and prioritising human dignity in all decision-making processes.
i.The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first observed as World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty on 17 October 1987.
ii.On that day, by the effort of Joseph Wresinski, founder of ATD (All Together in Dignity) Fourth World, more than 100,000 human rights defenders gathered on the Trocadero square in Paris, France, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honor the victims of hunger, violence, and ignorance.
- They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected.
iii.On 22nd December1992, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/47/196 and declared the 17th of October of every year as International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
- UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first observed on 17th October 1993.
UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty:
i.In 1996, UNGA adopted the resolution A/RES/50/107 and proclaimed the decade 1997 to 2006 as “First UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty”. The theme for the decade was “Eradicating poverty is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind”.
ii.In 2008, UNGA adopted the resolution A/RES/63/230 and proclaimed the decade 2008 to 2017 as “Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty”. The theme of the decade was “Full employment and decent work for all”.
iii.On 20 December 2017, UNGA was adopted the resolution A/RES/72/233 and proclaimed the decade 2018 to 2027 as “Third UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty”. The theme of the decade is “Accelerating global actions for a world without poverty”.
What is Poverty?
i.Poverty is a multifaceted issue that extends far beyond just the lack of income. It often leads to inadequate food, resulting in hunger and malnutrition.
ii.Impoverished individuals may struggle to access education and fundamental services, and may have limited say in shaping their futures.
iii.Poverty can fuel social discrimination and exclusion, limiting opportunities.
Note: More than 160 million children faced the risk of extreme poverty by 2030.
i.An estimated 7% of the global population, around 575 million people, could still find themselves trapped in extreme poverty by 2030.
ii.Despite progress, nearly 700 million people still live in extreme poverty worldwide, surviving on less than USD 2.15 a day.
iii.According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), from 2020 to 2023, approximately 165 million people globally fell into poverty.
- This drastic increase is attributed to debt servicing, which has overshadowed spending in crucial sectors such as social protection, health, and education.
vi.In developing countries, the majority of working-age individuals are engaged in informal, low-productivity, low-paying, and insecure jobs.
- This disparity is especially pronounced among women, girls, and the elderly. Nearly 4 million young people are expected to enter the global workforce each month until 2030.
Poverty and SDG:
Ending poverty in all its forms is the first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- A setback between 2020 and 2022 saw approximately 3 years of lost progress in poverty reduction.
- Current rates suggest that the global goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 might not be achieved.
- Estimates predict that around 600 million people will continue to grapple with extreme poverty in 2030.