"let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice."— UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
October 17th presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognise that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.
There is no denying that poverty is a social struggle and affects communities far and wide with impacts on single people and whole cities. With rising awareness in recent decades there are now more steps than ever being taken towards the eradication of poverty and the assistance and inclusion of those struggling with poverty towards being a part of the solution. The complexity of poverty is now better understood due to increased cultural awareness and sympathy with true connection and motion towards a solution.
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. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected.
The theme of the 2018 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is: “Coming Together With Those Furthest behind to Build an Inclusive World of Universal Respect for Human Rights and Dignity”. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is important to recall the fundamental connection between extreme poverty and human rights, and that people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by many human rights violations.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth understand the importance of public awareness, voice and the active participation of people living in extreme poverty, concerns and priorities of millions of people, especially those living in extreme poverty. We believe that young people should be engaged to be the agent of change representing the voice of the people who are in need.
As the world commemorates the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we call on youth and stakeholders from all countries to actively work to support the world most vulnerable.