The plight of an estimated 5.2 billion people who live in poverty, including 2.2 million Australians, will be the focus of Anti-Poverty Week at UNSW from October 13-17.

A range of organisations including Muslim Aid Australia, Australian Volunteers International, UNICEF, Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development and Amnesty International will take part in the activities, culminating with the UN's International Anti-Poverty Day (Friday 17 October).

Part of a national initiative, the week aims to strengthen public understanding of the cause and consequences of poverty and encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems.

The Social Justice Project in the Faculty of Law is coordinating the week at UNSW. The program's National Chair, UNSW Professor Julian Disney, says he hopes the Australia-wide initiative will "heighten awareness of poverty and encourage community involvement in combating it".

Among the events at UNSW:

Monday 13th Islamic Finance and Zakat: A Solution to Global Poverty?Venue: Macauley Theatre Room 1027, 1-2 pm Guest speaker: sponsored by the UNSW Islamic Society (ISOC)Muslim Aid Australia -Islamic Zakat in Practice

What is poverty and what are we doing about it?Venue: CLB 4, 5-6pm Duncan McDuie-Ra Introduction to poverty Cara Bevington Oxfam Representative Sponsored by the UNSW OXFAM Society

Tuesday 14thInternational Perspectives on Poverty and DevelopmentVenue: Law Building Room 101, 1-2pmSpeaker: Emeritus Professor Paul RedmondProfessor of Law Ross Buckley -International Debt Crisis Senior Lecturer Gillian Moon Freedom from Poverty: An Essential Human Right?

Wednesday 15thPoverty and Human Dignity: 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Venue: Law Building Room 101, 11-1pmSpeaker: Amnesty International Dignity Campaign Coordinator, Sarah Marland and a panel of international and Australian academics: Dr Ineke Boerefijn, Dr Jacqueline Mowbray and Dr Thalia Anthony.Sponsored by UNSW AMNESTY International

The State v Private Sector in Poverty Alleviation Venue:Library Lawn, 1-2pm Students battle it out in the Great Poverty Debate! - sponsored by UNSW DEBSOC and UNSOC

Thursday 16thEver wanted to eradicate poverty?Venue:CLB 3, 1-2pm Participating groups:Australian Volunteers International, UNICEF, Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, Gawad Kalinga

Friday 17thCrime and PovertyVenue: LAWS 101, 1-2pm Speakers:Anna Hartree (KLC) - Community Legal Centres' vital work to assist the poor Professor David Brown - Crime and PovertySky Rose - Can Pro Bono really assist the poor?

Fundraiser BBQVenue: Squarehouse, 2-3pm All proceeds go to fund community projects

For more information go to the Anti-Poverty Week website

Media contact: Steve Offner | 9385 8107 |