On October 17, 1987, thousands of people congregated at the Trocadero in Paris, where in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. Those gathered, proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and confirmed that people need to come together to ensure these rights are honoured. These rights were inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled that day by Father Joseph Wresinski, founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World. Since then, people have gathered on October 17 every year to renew their commitment to the poor, a day which has come to be known as International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The General Assembly declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, through resolution 47/196 adopted on December 22, 1992.
This year marks the 27th anniversary of the declaration by the General Assembly and the theme is 'Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty'.
According to the United Nations, the day 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 recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty."
The United Nations website adds, "The commemoration of October 17th also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty."
The United Nations has further said that building a sustainable future requires us to intensify our efforts towards eradicating extreme poverty and discrimination, and ensuring that everyone can freely exercise their human rights.
This year's theme marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989. The Convention, according to the UN, recognizes the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for his/her physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development. According to the UN, when child poverty is recognized as a denial of children's basic human rights, then people in position of responsibility are legally bound to fulfill them.