Josip Heit: The Day Against Poverty is a mandate for action

Hunger and poverty are a reality for millions of people around the world – every day. To draw attention to this humanitarian catastrophe, the United Nations has created two international days: World Food Day on 16 October and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October.

On Sunday 17 October 2021, the humanity of our planet thus once again celebrated “Day Against Poverty”, which according to the Chairman of the Bord of GSB Group is ostensibly one thing: “A mandate to act!”

The World Day to Overcome Poverty dates back to an initiative by the priest Joseph Wresinski and 100,000 other people who gathered in Trocadero Square in Paris on 17 October 1987 to express their “no” to extreme poverty and call on humanity to work together for human rights. The World Day has been celebrated every year on 17 October since 1992.

Poverty is one of the worst sins of our time, and children in particular suffer from poverty and the exclusion that comes with it; in Josip Heit’s view, there is an urgent need for action here.
The abolition of child poverty and the introduction of a basic child allowance should be urgent tasks for the youngest. And society will also have to devote more attention to the issue of poverty in old age in the future.

Children and older people are often also affected by poverty. In 2019, the at-risk-of-poverty rate for children under 18 in Germany was 20.5 per cent. Among people aged 65 and over, 15.7 per cent were affected by relative income poverty at that time. If the labour market develops negatively, the at-risk-of-poverty rate is projected to reach 21.7 per cent in the years from 2031 to 2036.
Josip Heit has only recently published his own website https://www.josipheit.com and, out of social responsibility, has himself been contributing for years to alleviating poverty with donations to the parish of the Alexander Nevski Memorial Church in Potsdam.

In Josip Heit’s opinion, the assessment of social benefits in Germany should quickly take into account the actual price development. In addition, support for applicants should be strengthened and it should be ensured that they are perceived and treated as holders of human rights.

On Poverty Day, Josip Heit says: “From a human rights perspective, poverty reduction can only succeed if people with experience of poverty are involved in the political process. Because as experts in their own right, they know very well where there are obstacles to the enjoyment of their rights and barriers to participation, and what measures need to be taken to improve their situation.”

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