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United Nations Development Programme

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines human rights as being cross-cutting to its work and as being an integral part of human development, actually as key component to inclusive development. Every year, UNDP publishes the Human Development Report which has become a major document of reference worldwide. The Report goes beyond the comparison of GDP figures alone, its measure of development includes life expectancy, education, adult literacy and gross school enrolment as complementary factors. The Report thus adds an individual and a pro-poor perspective; it has clearly strengthened the human rights issue in the development discourse.

UNDP is very active in ‘mainstreaming’ human rights, i.e. helping countries in their efforts to base their development programmes and policies on human rights. Key elements of the work of UNDP in the area of human rights and human security include:

  • support to the development of national human rights action plans;
  • application of the rights-based approach to programming;
  • assistance for human rights initiatives involving civic education, awareness-raising campaigns, strengthening or creation of ombudsman offices and extension of human rights institutions to the sub-national level.

UNDP collaborates with other UN partners like the UN Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). While these two bodies are assigned to monitor human rights violations, UNDP is tasked with strengthening government capacities to deliver on their human rights commitments. UNDP also interacts with UN Special Rapporteurs.

In 2009, UNDP has published the first two issues of a News Brief called “Human Rights for Development”. They are to be found here.
You will find some more publications of UNDP in this respect here.

More information and a list of all the UNDP country offices in Africa:

Information on the current Human Development Report can be found here:

Last change: 21.09.11 - 14:52