"Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated.
To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty."
ATD Fourth World is a Human Rights Movement that calls for a profound transformation of society. This requires a revision of society’s priorities and a readjustment of its resources so that the very poorest people have the same chance as others to develop their autonomy and participate actively in the society. The progress of the most excluded and voiceless among us is the measure of a truly egalitarian society.
The prototype of the International Fourth World Movement was founded in 1957, in a camp for homeless families outside Paris, by the late Father Joseph Wresinski, a Catholic priest, who himself grew up in poverty. " Aide à Toute Détresse"-Help for All Distress- was the first name of the association. The name Fourth World came later and was coined by the founder after the Fourth Estate of the French Revolution, which comprised the very poorest people struggling to be represented in the political changes of the time.