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World Day for the Eradication of Poverty by the 17th October Committee in Roubaix

Summary : Every year since 1994, the citizenship collective 17th October Committee, has organised a World Day for the Eradication of Poverty with the support of the Roubaix town hall and ATD Quart Monde. This commemorative ceremony in honour of the poor reaffirms the commitment to eradicate poverty, considered to be a breach of human rights.

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  • Start date : 1994
  • Implementation site : Roubaix
  • Budget : N/A


  • ATD Quart Monde
  • 11, rue Barthélémy-Delespaul
  • 59000 Lille
  • Employees : 1
  • Volunteers : 4


Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  05/08/2015 00:00
Solution(s) : Democracy and good governance Social exclusion and isolation
Country :  France, Mayotte
Stature of the programme :  National, Local, International
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Bottom Of the Pyramid (BOP)
  • Domain :  Citizen participation, Education, Training, Human rights

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Taking Action together against dropping out of school »

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Percq Pascal , « World Day for the Eradication of Poverty by the 17th October Committee in Roubaix », **Journal RESOLIS** (2015)

Background to the programme

In 1987, Father Joseph Wresinski, founder of the ATD Quart Monde Movement which fights for access to human rights for all and against social exclusion and extreme poverty, launched an appeal to gather people to pay tribute to victims of hunger, ignorance and violence. 100,000 defenders of human rights in every country, from all walks of life and of all faiths gathered together on 17th October 1987 at the Trocadero in Paris. On this occasion, a plaque in honour of victims of extreme poverty was inaugurated. On 22nd November 1992 the United Nations declared 17th October as "The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty". In 1994, a replica of the Trocadero plaque was erected in Roubaix. A citizenship collective composed of organisations and actors in Roubaix (including the municipality and ATD Quart Monde), The Committee of 17th October, pledged to make this plaque come to “life”. This collective fights, on a daily basis, against all forms of exclusion. In particular, it organises the Day of the Eradication of Poverty in Roubaix each year.

Objectives of the programme

- Call on all defenders of human rights to eradicate poverty

- Allow people living in poverty to really express themselves, taking into account their experience

- Rejection of fatalism (fight against social determinism)

- View poverty, not as an economic phenomenon, but as a breach of an individual’s rights

- Provoke meetings between people living in poverty and those who don’t experience it directly

Implemented actions

- Gather citizens together at the Joseph Wresinski esplanade (near the Roubaix town hall): associative organisations and anyone willing to campaign

- 2014: Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Roubaix plaque:

* Numerous testimonials: organisers of the day, speeches from activists, the Roubaix town hall, associations (Comité solidarité avec les Roms, Université populaire de Roubaix, Univers...)

* Several exhibitions: a retrospective of 20 years of this day, on the prejudices concerning poor people

- Involvement of many schools in the Lille metropole: in 2011, all the primary schools in the Lille neighbourhood of Fives have created the "train that forgets no one", exhibited at the Saint-Sauveur train station.

- Development of a booklet of the 17th October Committee in Roubaix, containing all the collective’s essential information

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

- Over 200 participants at the Day in 2014

- 2004: Inauguration of a plaque in Somain (municipality of the department du Nord)
- Educating children about issues of poverty

- Raising awareness among the general public: media coverage in the local press (Nord Eclair ...)

Original characteristics

This commemorative event gives voice to people living in poverty.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

Primary schools, Roubaix Town Hall, Roubaix CCAS, various associations (Amnesty International, Secours Populaire ...), trade unions (such as CGT)


Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

- Change in the municipality which lead to a renewal of the relationship between the association and the Roubaix town council

- A smaller volunteer team to carry out the different actions

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

Recruitment of a coordinator and the involvement of ATD Quart Monde to supervise the work of the Committee

Suggestions for future improvement :

Try to redefine which actions will be prioritised in the Roubaix area to revitalise the associative group

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

- Use the partnership as much as possible

- Set up a small group to successfully complete an action

- Take action so that poor people regain their dignity

- Diversify the actions

Bibliographic references

Jean-Christophe Sarrot Bruno Tardieu and Marie-France Zimmer, « En finir avec les idées fausses sur les pauvres et la pauvreté », “Dispelling misconceptions about the poor and poverty”, Paris, co-published Editions de l'Atelier- Editions Quart Monde,, 2014, 192 p

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