International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

17 October

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. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor.

Through resolution 47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the UN General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Poverty eradication

UNESCO is convinced that the sustainable fight against poverty requires the strengthening of individuals’ capacities through education, science and support for a creative economy, which are sources of employment as well as of pride and dignity. UNESCO puts all its expertise at the service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular Goal 1 "End poverty in all its forms everywhere ".

"As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, said in 2002, “poverty is a denial of human rights” for every individual. Indeed, poverty is utterly appalling. Not only does it lead to a life of daily deprivation, hunger and suffering, but it also prevents the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, which every human being should be able to enjoy without hindrance."
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay Director-General of UNESCO

What UNESCO does

World Social Science Report 2016: Challenging Inequalities
Criança Esperança Programme
Inclusive Policy Lab
Futures of Education
Climate Change
Social Transformations


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October 2018: a selection of UNESCO publications on poverty and related themes
Resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992
UN website for the Day
Past Edition
All International Days