UNESCO International Literacy Prizes


© UNESCO/Taweepon Kingkaew

Since 1967, UNESCO International Literacy Prizes have rewarded excellence and innovation in the field of literacy. Over 475 projects and programmes undertaken by governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world have been recognized. Through these prestigious Prizes, UNESCO seeks to support effective literacy practices and encourages the promotion of dynamic literate societies.

Currently there are two UNESCO International Literacy Prizes:

  • The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize (2 awards)

Established in 1989, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea. It gives special consideration to the development and use of mother-tongue literacy education and training.

  • The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy (3 awards)

The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, established in 2005, with the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. It gives special consideration to literacy amongst adults in rural areas and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women.

Each of the five prizewinners receives a medal, a diploma and US$20.000.

The UNESCO International Literacy Prizes are awarded in an official ceremony on the occasion of the International Literacy Day (8 September).


2017 Selection Process



Literacy in a digital world at heart of International Literacy Day, 8 September 2017

UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2017 open for applications and nominations

Books for Rural Areas of Viet Nam Programme honored as winner of the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize

UNESCO literacy prize-winners visit China and the Republic of Korea - the countries supporting their awards

UNESCO honours lives changed by literacy with 2016 International Literacy Prizes

2016 International Literacy Prizes award ceremony marks 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day

Previous editions

2016 - 201520142013 - 20122011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007  - 2006