International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
17th of October 2020
Poverty encompasses negative conditions such as
inadequate nutrition, homelessness, food insecurity and a
lack of access to healthcare, diminishing both the economic
opportunities of those who live in poverty and their life
expectancy. Subsequently, poverty threatens the security of
nations, sustainable peace and hinders social and economic
Hence, in acknowledgement of the detrimental effects of
poverty, that can follow a child into adulthood, the United
Nations General Assembly officially declared the 17th of
October as International day for the Eradication of Poverty,
in accordance with its resolution 47/196 of the 22nd
December 1992. The resolution invites all States to utilize
the day in promoting and implementing activities that work
towards the eradication of poverty.
The 17th of October presents the perfect opportunity to
acknowledge the struggle of those living in poverty and highlight the need for a unified and coordinated response of the international community to contribute to the eradication of poverty, particularly this year with the COVID19 outbreak. The global social, health and economic effects of the pandemic has posed a true challenge to attaining the United Nations sustainable development goal of eradicating poverty by 2030, as the global poverty rate is estimated to increase greatly for the first time since 1990.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to push 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2020, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021. It is estimated that the level of poverty in certain countries could reach levels comparable to those recorded 30 years ago, leading to a regression in the progress made in terms of poverty eradication. Although the full impact of the pandemic is unknown, it can be said with certainty that the after-effects of this pandemic will jeopardize the future of a generation of children, the fight towards poverty reduction and income inequality.
In light of this frightening development and in acknowledgement of the ethical, social and political obligation of states to address the root causes of poverty, this year's theme is "Working together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”. Poverty is a violation of human rights, the cooperation of the global community is necessary in ensuring that these rights are respected and that every human being has the chance to live a life of dignity.
The Geneva Institute for Human Rights expresses its great concern for the millions who live in extreme poverty in a world characterized by unprecedented levels of economic development, technological means and financial resources. Poverty is not a singular issue, it is made up of a complex combination of factors, thus we must go beyond singular responses in the fight against poverty.
The Institute calls on states, international organizations and stakeholders to double their humanitarian efforts in the provision of the necessary services to create the opportunity for a decent life for all and accelerate economic growth through sustainable recovery.
Furthermore, the Institute urges states where poverty is prominent due to incessant internal conflict to prevent the violent cycle and implement a peaceful approach of working towards a developing and sustainable economy.
Finally, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights calls on all to join the global campaign through social media using the hashtag #EndPoverty, fighting global poverty despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic and accelerating action towards ensuring a resilient recovery post COVID-19.