This manuscript aims the analysis of the traditional conceptions of poverty and social development, based merely on monetary standard, as well as the need to change them, since important factors such as individual’s freedoms and opportunities are not being considered. In philosophical, sociological and humanistic perspective, it is clear that the fundamental rights, especially the rights to democracy, freedom and equality are the pillars of development and, therefore, the State must create policies aiming their warranty. We studied the theory of fundamental rights, the actual idea of poverty, welfare programs and the historical evolution of the movements against poverty in Brazil. This manuscript intends to discuss the importance of fundamental rights to ensure real human and social development, considering the needs and opportunities of individuals and not just the monetary aspect. Alternative paths towards development need to be found. The concept of poverty includes several other elements that are not currently being considered. We need to discuss this so that alternative solutions can be found.