International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2008


“We can end poverty” stamps unveiled
during the commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the theme for this year’s observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is “Human Rights and Dignity of People Living in Poverty”.

The struggle against poverty has evolved more and more visibly into an overarching development goal of the international community. Poverty eradication, however, is not only a development goal; it is also a central challenge for ensuring world-wide recognition of human rights. The international community has acknowledged that poverty is a violation of human rights and that promoting human rights can reduce poverty.

The world-wide persistence of poverty can be attributed in part to the violations of human rights. In fact, human rights violations can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty. People living in poverty are excluded from society, and their ability to secure their own rights is particularly limited by their predicament.

Poverty can be seen as a human condition of deprivation of resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

Under the core human rights instruments, human beings are guaranteed among others, the rights to life, liberty and security of person, the right to the highest attainable standard of health, the right to just and favourable working conditions, the right to adequate food, housing and social security, the right to education and participation in the democratic process. Securing those rights for all would bring us closer to poverty eradication.

Human rights based approach to fighting poverty links poverty reduction to the question of obligation, rather than charity and compels policymakers to implement strategies helping the most vulnerable individuals and groups escape poverty and destitution.

For more information on poverty as an issue of human rights and human rights as a tool to eradicate poverty see the report of the Secretary-General on the Observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/61/308).

PDF Programme of the Day

Message of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon:
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Message from the President of the 63rd session United Nations General Assembly

Statements and messages from the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Commemoration at the United Nations Headquarters, NY:

Other Statements:

United Nations Webcast:

  • Press Conference: Mrs. Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona, UN Independent Expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty; Mrs. Elissavet Stamatopoulou, Acting Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development; and Mrs. Nina Lim Yuson, President of International Movement ATD Fourth World on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
    [Webcast: Archived Video  29 minutes ]
  • Observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on the theme “Human rights and dignity of people living in poverty” – Commemoration ceremony and Round Table Dialogue on “Turning rhetoric into action – Building effective partnerships to combat extreme poverty and exclusion”.
    [Webcast: Archived Video : 1 hour and 18 minutes – Part 1 ] [Webcast: Archived Video : 2 hours and 34 minutes – Part 2 ]
  • Special Event: United Nations staff, permanent missions, non-governmental organizations and students took part in a “Stand Up, Take Action” event in front of the UN Secretariat building.  The Stand Up event will feature performances from the cast of the Broadway Musical “A Tale of Two Cities”.
    [Webcast: Archived Video – English: 38 minutes ]

Press Releases:

International Movement ATD Fourth World Roundtable:

On 17 October 2008, ATD Fourth World organized a round table dialogue at the United Nations in New York…. more

In the News:

Events around the world:

In Tokyo:

In Dublin:

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