UN International Day to End Poverty

A world day initiated by people living in poverty

On 17 October 1987, ATD Fourth World initiated the UN International Day for Overcoming Poverty focused on Joseph Wresinski’s message:

“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated.

To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”

The day is an opportunity for people living in poverty to speak out about their lives and struggles and to invite others to join them in overcoming poverty. In the words of one participant:

“It’s our day. We can say what we have in our hearts without shame, without embarrassment.”

Five years later, the United Nations recognised 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and called on all nations to renew their commitment to overcoming poverty. For the people in poverty who first began this day, it is an occasion to remember those who died in poverty and a day to encourage and inspire one another to carry on the struggle

To learn more about how people in poverty mark this day around the world, please click here.


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