Human rights

Human rights are a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. 


Human rights are central to UNDP support to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals as well as other commitments agreed by Member States. The Agenda 2030 seeks ‘to realize the human rights of all’ and envisions a world ‘of universal respect for human rights and human dignity’. It is firmly anchored in human rights principles and standards including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the right to development.

Addressing the root causes of human rights violations is necessary to anticipate, prevent and recover from crisis. In crisis and fragile contexts, supporting human rights promotion and protection is a vital investment to promote peace, justice and inclusive institutions and governance approaches throughout the spectrum of UNDP development assistance. The UN Secretary-General, in his Call to Action for Human Rights, reiterated the importance of collective action to advance human rights as a driving force for sustainable peace and development.  

UNDP is committed to delivering on the Call to Action and supporting national and international efforts to address pressing human rights challenges, including the implications of the triple planetary crisis, through support to Member States to respect and fulfil their human rights obligations as a critical tool to operationalize the pledge to leave no one behind. UNDP upholds human rights standards and principles in its programming whilst also recognizing that human rights – as highlighted in Our Common Agenda –  are a critical problem solving tool for contemporary development challenges. 

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UNDP Human Rights Strategy for Sustainable Development

Promoting and protecting human rights is essential for ensuring sustainable development outcomes. At the same time, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out a vision for sustainable development grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights standards, putting equality and non-discrimination at the center. We need to harness the synergies between human rights and sustainable development systems to leave no one behind.

Human Rights Strategy

Human rights: areas in focus

Focal point

Katy Thompson 
Head, UNDP Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights

Sarah Rattray 
Senior Advisor on Human Rights