Theme for 2018
Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.

There are a few changes on the October 17 page for this year.

On this page you will find:

  • Testimonies: messages from people living in extreme poverty,...
  • Presentation: the meaning of the Day, its spirit,...
  • Highlights: activities, messages, significant gestures,...
  • Contact us: for any question related to October 17.
  • Toolbox: poster, concept note, documents of reference, videos,...

Select a country to see what took place the previous years

New Orleans - Tuesday 16 October 2018 - March at the 7th Ward, New Orleans, October 16, 2018

Together let’s build a world of respect for everyone’s human rights and dignity!

To celebrate October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, our team in New Orleans, Louisiana, held a march in the city's 7th ward where ATD Fourth World has been present for many years, followed by a block party together with the community members.

Enjoy these beautiful photos!

New Orleans
United States

Antananarivo - Wednesday 17 October 2018 - 2-Day Celebration of the World Day in Madagascar

The October 17 World Day was celebrated this year at the Parvis Analakely in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. Events spanned two days, thanks to a partnership with: the Mayor’s office; the Prime Minister; and the Minister of Population, the Advancement of Women, and Social Security; the Telma Foundation; and the French Embassy.

Some families were unable to attend because their houses were demolished to make way for the construction of a roadway, which began on this same day. These families received no compensation from the government in order to secure an alternative property because, according to a representative from the local authorities, they had built illegally on properties that did not belong to them. And yet these families had been paying taxes during the time they lived in their former properties.

Antananarivo
Madagascar

Geneva - Wednesday 17 October 2018 - October 17 Interviews at the United Nations in Geneva

This year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty commemoration took the form of a series of interviews conducted in a public space at the UN in Geneva. In the style of a TV talk show, an interviewer addressed questions to three different groups of guests.

Extreme Poverty as a Human Right Violation

Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, addressed the first theme in a videotaped statement: “The greatest problem with many approaches to addressing extreme poverty is that people think that it is the fault of the people themselves – that they are lazy, don’t want to work. If we insist that there is a right to social protection, then it is clear that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that people can improve their situation.”

Natacha Foucard, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, asserted that the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights was an important step forward because the Guidelines provide a practical tool for policy-makers.

Janet Nelson, as ATD Fourth World’s Vice-President, agreed, emphasizing that the Guiding Principles help change the way people living in extreme poverty view themselves. They affirm that extreme poverty can be overcome only by addressing the human rights violations that are its cause and consequence. In addition, the Guiding Principles stress how important it is for people in poverty to participate in developing strategies that correspond to the reality of their lives.

Seeing extreme poverty as the result of human rights violations is a revolutionary idea, Ms. Nelson explained, and so it will take time for policies and behaviours to change accordingly. However, impacts of this view can be seen in new strategies from NGOs who used to approach poverty from a charity perspective. In addition, many anti-poverty NGOs now realize that they are not reaching people living in extreme poverty. And countries such as France and Haiti are using the Guiding Principles as references for policy development.

When asked about the leading role that France played in the adoption of the Guiding Principles, the French Ambassador to the UN, His Excellency François Rivasseau, stressed France’s ongoing commitment to human rights. Insisting that “France is committed to addressing poverty”, he explained that President Macron’s new anti-poverty strategy focuses on programs for children and young people, since these are formative years that will affect their opportunities for the rest of their lives.

Effective Projects in the Struggle against Extreme Poverty

A new set of people gathered around the table to be interviewed on effective projects. Philip Alston’s statement affirmed: “We must accept that even economic growth will not improve the situation of people living in extreme poverty.” Junko Tadaki, from OHCHR, emphasized that a charity approach does not address the structural causes of poverty. “One of the measures that many countries have adopted is cash-transfer programs… in which they try to identify the most vulnerable households. What we see as a problem is that often these programs can result in the exclusion of some households… and so we argue for a universal approach based on the right to social protection.”

The moderator then turned to Cathy Low, a member of the ATD Volunteer Corps, who described ATD’s Madagascar computer training project. Ms Low explained that it was aimed at young people, some with very little schooling. The project was a public-private partnership, with internet companies contributing to the training and offering internships to the students.

Bertrand Foucher, President of Émerjean, the company formed as part of “Territory with Zero Long-Term Unemployment” in France, discussed the project’s goal of eliminating long-term unemployment. Located in Villeurbanne, a city with a 30% unemployment rate, Émerjean hires everyone who wants to work. Welfare funds are redirected to help finance jobs serving needs that the community itself identifies. Project participant Halima Zaghar explained that, despite her university degree, she could not find a job because as a practicing Muslim, she wanted to wear a headscarf. “The project has changed my feelings towards French society,” she said. “I feel surrounded by well-intentioned people.”

Poverty in Geneva

Mrs Nadine Mudry, from Geneva’s Office for Social Reintegration, explained that “Poverty is not very visible in Geneva…. [However,] more than 13% of the Geneva population benefits from social welfare allocations….” Philip Alston’s statement concurred: “The majority of people aren’t aware of the fact that poverty exists in their country. […] But in fact, in every country, there are people who are completely excluded.”

Jean-Claude Etienne, Co-president of Coalition 17 October, added that “…[S]ince I am also on welfare, I’ve seen that eventually you lose confidence in yourself.” It is difficult to look for a job, he explained, when the potential employer finds out that you are unemployed or have received disability benefits. “Those of us with low incomes don’t fit well into our societies, which are based on production and consumption…. We can’t afford to go to the movies or out to a restaurant, and so find ourselves isolated even from people who were formerly friends.”

Mrs Mudry stated that Geneva has developed a municipal action plan to address poverty. Asked whether people in poverty themselves have participated in developing the plan’s strategies, she said: “Not yet, but that will be the next step… We will present our plan to the people we serve, and see if it corresponds to their needs.”

The session ended with questions and answers from the participants, followed by a reception hosted by the Missions of Belgium and France.

In a significant recognition of the connection between extreme poverty and human rights violations, OHCHR listed the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty commemoration as one of the events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Geneva
Switzerland

Manila - Wednesday 17 October 2018 - Commemoration at the Replica of the Stone

Event report

Joined by government agencies and families from poor communities, the National Anti-Poverty Commission led an inspiring commemoration of the 2018 National Week of Overcoming Extreme Poverty, October 17 at the Rizal Park, Manila.

This year’s commemoration was organized in coordination with ATD Fourth World, the UN Development Program, the Manila City government, and the National Parks Development Committee.

We share with you some lovely photos from this memorable World Day to enjoy!

Event description

On October 17, the commemoration of the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty will be held from 7 am to 12 nn in Rizal Park, Manila.

The program includes:  
-Remarks of by the National Anti-Poverty Commission, the Commission of Human Rights, ATD Fourth World and a keynote speech by Mayor Joseph Estrada,
-Theater performance as a message from communities, with governmental response, testimonies of people with experience of poverty, wreath-laying rites at the commemorative stone, and workshops for adults and children prepared by partners.

The commemoration has been prepared in different stages: 

On October 12, the official unveiling of 4 murals (see below) took place in the Roma Plaza Intramuros. The murals were created by young artists from ATD communities, Museo Pambata's outreach programs, and the NAPC. This was one of the events dedicated to the national commemoration of October 17 - World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, with Museo PambataNational Commission for Culture and the Arts and the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

In the week of October 1 - 7, ATD members held forum meetings in communities to recall the meaning of the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty and to mobilize people to take part in the celebration at the commemorative stone in Ritzal Park, Manila on October 17.

On September 23, children from different backgrounds participated in art workshops in preparation for October 17. They created a collective mural representing the four pillars of an anti-poverty new policy which are:
-democratic governance and people participation;
-rural development and national industrialization;
-human rights-based approach of poverty reduction;
-social protection for all

On August 11, during an art and cultural gathering, youth from six communities from Manila and relocation sites made their own posters with a message for October 17, World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty. The question asked to the youth was « What are you hoping for your community and society ? ». One message reads: "The community to be united and equal in all matters."

It was a great opportunity to know each other better, to discuss with young people about their personal hopes and hopes for a more just society, to learn basics of theater, and to participate in workshops.

Between July and August, adults could gather and express their thoughts about their daily struggles to make ends meet but also what is their hope for future. The topic discussed was the hike in prices of commodities and what effect it has on their families.

Manila
Philippines

Brussels - Wednesday 17 October 2018 - The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) marks the World Day

This article describes how the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) marked the World Day on October 17 in various countries in Europe including Scotland, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal.

The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) is the largest European network of national, regional and local networks, involving anti-poverty NGOs and grassroot groups as well as European Organisations, active in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. It was established in 1990.
Brussels
Belgium