October 17, 2016
#EndPoverty on 17th October 2016
“Poverty is not simply measured by inadequate income. It is manifested in restricted access to health, education and other essential services and, too often, by the denial or abuse of other fundamental human rights”. — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Today, over 1 billion people live in extreme poverty. It’s a huge number – around 15% of the world’s population – and one that urgently needs addressing.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which has been in place since 1987, calls on us all to consider this immense task and honour the victims of extreme poverty around the world.
A show of solidarity as well as an opportunity to discuss sustainability, so much of the dialogue of the day is led by those living in poverty. The day has always held the stance that it is the poor themselves who are the first to lead the fight. Their knowledge, their expertise, their understanding, is crucial in working towards the eradication of poverty.
“Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms”
This year, the theme calls on us all to widen our horizons when faced with the word ‘poverty’. So often it is pigeon-holed as a lack of finances and inadequate material well-being (food, housing, land etc). But it is much more than that.
The UN is keen to address that humiliation and exclusion are huge drivers of social unrest (as well as often a result of it). Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of marginalisation, walking hand in hand with exclusion. Inclusivity is therefore a crucial step in addressing poverty, and so once more, precedence must be given to the voices of the affected.
As Secretary General for the UN, Ban Ki-moon states:
“On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us listen to and heed the voices of people living in poverty. Let us commit to respect and defend the human rights of all people and end the humiliation and social exclusion that people living in poverty face every day by promoting their involvement in global efforts to end extreme poverty once and for all.”
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