How Individual Agencies are Mainstreaming HRBA in their work

Over the last decade, there has been significant progress in mainstreaming human rights in the work of the UN system.  An increasing number of UN agencies are not only integrating human rights into their internal policies, but also actively advocating for human rights through their mandated work- on the rights of people affected by HIV, on the rights to food, education, health and shelter, and on the fundamental rights of workers. UN agencies are also deepening their understandings of, and responses to poverty and humanitarian emergencies from a human rights perspective.

Human rights principles – such as universality, non-discrimination, participation and accountability – are being used to guide UN programming. Technical cooperation programmes are being implemented to support the capacity of national partners (duty-bearers)to meet their international human rights obligations and , and to assist community members (rights-holders) to claim their rights.  Lastly, in the ‘Delivering as One’ context HRBA is proving to be an exceptional framework for bringing together the different UN values and principles. It has also underlined the normative role of the UN.

The country examples below, documented by the UNDG Human Rights Mainstreaming Mechanism and the UN System Staff  College in the document, Experiences in applying Human Rights-Based Approaches, showcase in more detail how the UN is mainstreaming human rights in its work.  The UNDG will compile a series of HRBA-focused case studies to serve as a learning tool in 2012.

Country Examples:

Ecuador: Applying a HRBA to the UNDAF

In 2008, Ecuador began the process of developing its UNDAF for 2010-2014.  With leadership from the Resident Coordinator, the Ecuador UNCT was strongly committed to applying a HRBA to the UNDAF process - not only to fulfil official UNDG requirements, but to achieve better results.  UN Staff capacity on HRBA, however, varied and developing these capacities was crucial.   More...

Viet Nam: Applying a HRBA to HIV Programming

In Viet Nam, HIV is seen largely as a social and health issue, and not one of rights. Yet, as the Joint UN Team on HIV was becoming increasingly aware, human rights are extremely relevant - in particular for addressing the stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV (PLHIV).  The joint UN team realized that they needed to strengthen their HRBA skills.   More...

Bosnia / Tajikistan: Water & Sanitation through a HRBA lens

In the CIS region, water and sanitation conditions are in a terrible state. Water infrastructure and governance are particularly bad. Efforts to address this problem have largely focused on infrastructure, with little result.  Clearly, a different approach was needed. A HRBA, with its focus on governance issues, was seen as an approach that could have a wider and more sustainable impact.   More...