To mark International Day of the Eradication of Poverty on October 17, Caritas Europa called on European countries to place appropriate social protection systems and measures that cover everybody, especially the most vulnerable.

According to Caritas, considerable progress has been achieved in terms of reducing unemployment since the financial and economic crisis of 2008, but at a dear price.

“Austerity policies put wages under pressure, and today the number of working poor is higher than before the crisis,” said Caritas in a statement. “Employment is a way out of poverty, but only if there are jobs for everybody and at a decent wage.”

Caritas also called for improved welfare systems and family oriented policies.

“Our leaders must ensure that no one is left under the poverty line,” said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Caritas Europa’s Secretary General. “This can be done if they put in place fair and sustainable social models that keep family policies at the centre, provide for inclusive labour markets and ensure access to adequate social protection systems for all. This certainly is the model that Caritas stands for.”

According to Caritas, the goal should be to eradicate poverty by 2030.