Human Rights Based Approach

The UN Statement of Common Understanding on Human Rights-Based Approaches to Development Cooperation and Programming (the Common Understanding) was adopted by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in 2003. The purpose behind developing a common understanding was to ensure that UN agencies, funds and programmes apply a consistent Human Rights-Based Approach to common programming processes at global and regional levels, and especially at the country level in relation to the CCA and UNDAF.

Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) not only saves lives but is also a basic human right set out in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and reiterated in Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action from Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995, their follow-up and review processes and United Nations resolutions and instruments.
In humanitarian contexts, the rights of women, adolescents and girls affected by conflict are protected by multiple, complementary bodies of international law, including international humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL), international criminal law, and refugee law. (IPPF)

Read more:
Human Rights Based Approach to Development Cooperation: Towards a Common Understanding Among UN Agencies 

UNFPA and human rights based approach

ICPD and human rights based approach

The main issues discussed in the publication are:

  • Maternal mortality and morbidity
  • Contraceptive information and services
  • Abortion
  • Sexual and reproductive health education and information
  • Adolescents and youth
  • Individuals belonging to marginalized and under-served populations
  • HIV/Aids
  • Violence against women
  • Harmful traditional practices
  • Advancing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights after ICPD 2014.


The Rights to Contraceptive Information and Services for Women and Adolescents

Women’s and adolescents’ right to contraceptive information and services is grounded in basic human rights. 

A Human Rights-Based Approach to Programming, Practical Information and Training Materials (from 2010)

This Manual provides step-by-step guidance on how to apply a culturally sensitive, gender-responsive, human rights-based approach to programming in each of UNFPA’s three core areas of work: population and development, reproductive health, and gender.

How does quality of care relate to a rights-based approach to family planning programs?

This paper compares definitions of quality of family planning and contrasts them with the essentials of a rights-based approach. It aims to create common understanding on what these terms mean, where they overlap and how they differ.