Event Date: December 15, 2017

UN expert on extreme poverty and human rights to discuss his visit to the United States on 15 December

The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, is visiting the United States from 1 to 15 December 2017 to examine government efforts to eradicate poverty in the country, and how they relate to U.S. obligations under international human rights law. He will share his preliminary observations and recommendations with journalists at a press conference:

Date: Friday 15 December 2017

Time: 12:00 noon local time

Place: 2121 K Street NW, Suite 800B

hosted by the UN Information Center, Washington DC

RSVP Required: events@unic.org


The press conference will be live-streamed and will have a dial-in opportunity; additional details will be available on the Special Rapporteur’s website.

To join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:


You can also dial in using your phone.

United States: +1 (312) 757-3121

Access Code: 321-682-349

First GoToMeeting? To do a quick system check: https://link.gotomeeting.com/system-check                              


Other members of civil society also may observe the press conference in person or on-line, as space is available.



“Some might ask why a UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights would visit a country as rich as the United States. But despite great wealth in the US, there also exists great poverty and inequality,” said Mr. Alston.

“I would like to focus on how poverty affects the civil and political rights of people living within the US, given the United States’ consistent emphasis on the importance it attaches to these rights in its foreign policy, and given that it has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

He will meet government officials, people living in poverty, civil society organizations and academic experts to address a wide range of key areas including the criminal justice system, welfare and health care, barriers to political participation, homelessness, and basic social rights such as the right to social protection, housing, water and sanitation.

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur will travel to the following places:


Dec 1 Washington, D.C.

Dec 4-5 Los Angeles, California

Dec 6 San Francisco, California

Dec 7-8 Montgomery, Alabama

Dec 9 Atlanta, Georgia

Dec 10-11 Puerto Rico

Dec 12 Washington, D.C.

Dec 13 Charleston, West Virginia

Dec 14-15 Washington, D.C.


Mr. Alston’s final report on his U.S. visit will be available in Spring 2018 and will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in June 2018. He is mandated by the Council to monitor, report and advise on extreme poverty and human rights around the world.

Mr. Philip Alston (Australia) took up his functions as the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights in June 2014.  As a Special Rapporteur, he is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Follow the Special Rapporteur on Twitter @Alston_UNSR

and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlstonUNSR

More information on the visit of the Special Rapporteur can be found on his web page.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

Ms. Junko Tadaki (email: jtadaki@ohchr.org / phone: + 41 79 444 3781 (during the visit) / + 41 22 917 9298 (before and after the visit))

Ms. Deborah DeYoung (email: deborah.deyoung@unic.org / phone: + 1 202-276-8670)

Concerned about the world we live in? Then STAND UP for someone’s rights today. #Standup4humanrights and visit the web page at http://www.standup4humanrights.org