In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the theme for this year's observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is "Human Rights and Dignity of People Living in Poverty".
The struggle against poverty has evolved more and more visibly into an overarching development goal of the international community. Poverty eradication, however, is not only a development goal; it is also a central challenge for ensuring world-wide recognition of human rights. The international community has acknowledged that poverty is a violation of human rights and that promoting human rights can reduce poverty.
The world-wide persistence of poverty can be attributed in part to the violations of human rights. In fact, human rights violations can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty. People living in poverty are excluded from society, and their ability to secure their own rights is particularly limited by their predicament.
Poverty can be seen as a human condition of deprivation of resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
Under the core human rights instruments, human beings are guaranteed among others, the rights to life, liberty and security of person, the right to the highest attainable standard of health, the right to just and favourable working conditions, the right to adequate food, housing and social security, the right to education and participation in the democratic process. Securing those rights for all would bring us closer to poverty eradication.
Human rights based approach to fighting poverty links poverty reduction to the question of obligation, rather than charity and compels policymakers to implement strategies helping the most vulnerable individuals and groups escape poverty and destitution.
For more information on poverty as an issue of human rights and human rights as a tool to eradicate poverty see the report of the Secretary-General on the Observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/61/308).
Programme of the Day