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International Day for Eradication of Poverty 2018: Significance, theme

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New Delhi, Oct 17: Today (October 16) is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Poverty is a social and economic problem for which almost all countries are trying find a solution. Poverty is defined as lack of amount of material possessions or money. Poverty reduction is a major issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

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The theme of International Day for Eradication of Poverty 2018 is "Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity."

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is important to recall the fundamental connection between extreme poverty and human rights, and that people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by many human rights violations.

Joseph Wresinski was one of the first persons to highlight this direct link between human rights and extreme poverty. In February 1987, he appealed to the Human Rights Commission to examine the question of extreme poverty and human rights and eloquently captured the nexus between human rights and extreme poverty with his profound observation: "Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty."

Definition of poverty:

"Fundamentally, poverty is the inability of having choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one's food or a job to earn one's living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation," says United Nations' defination of poverty.

Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

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