Human Rights

Photo: UNDP / United Arab Emirates
Photo: UNDP / United Arab Emirates

The pursuit of human rights promotes the freedom, dignity and worth of every person — so too does the pursuit of human development. When rights are made real, the poor can participate in decisions affecting their lives.  UNDP supports 'human rights for development' in more than 100 countries and connects partners in a global network. This work is about expanding choices and protecting rights and freedoms.

At the request of countries, UNDP supports efforts to:

  • Build the capacity of the systems and institutions put in place by nations to promote and protect human rights;
  • Promote the use of a human rights-based approach in development programming;
  • Engage with international human rights machinery led by the United Nations, forging partnerships with expert institutions.

This work is carried out in many areas: policy development, advocacy, training, civic education, developing national human rights action plans, strengthening human rights institutions, promoting international human rights instruments. Our justice sector programme promotes the independence, impartiality and fairness of judges as well as legal literacy, legal aid, pro-poor laws and civic participation in legal and judicial reform.

Partnerships between UNDP and the indigenous peoples and their organizations are critical to promote and to strengthen democratic governance and human rights, preventing and resolving conflicts, reducing poverty and sustainably managing the environment.

UNDP protects and promotes the universal values of human rights and rule of law — guided by the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We work to ensure that the plans, policies and processes of development are anchored in these rights. To make progress in development, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, every individual must be valued by society and their rights secured and upheld.

The UN HRBA Portal

The UN Practitioner’s Portal on Human Rights-Based Approaches to programming features a broad collection of practical resources designed to support UN staff in integrating a human rights-based approach into their programming work, such as programming tools, training and learning materials, and case studies. The Portal is also the virtual home of the UN Human Rights Policy Network HuriTALK.

Fast Facts
Human Rights and UNDP

UNDP's human rights portfolio is part of its commitment to human development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

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Indigenous Peoples

"The interests of the indigenous peoples must be part of the new development agenda in order for it to succeed. […]  Let us work even harder to empower them and support their aspirations." 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Find out more about our work on Indigenous Peoples
Featured Publications
Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

This handbook for parliamentarians presents good practices in relation to the recognition and exercise of indigenous peoples’ rights in different regions of the world.

Fast Facts: Indigenous Peoples

UNDP’s engagement with indigenous peoples is grounded on its overall vision to help countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion.

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