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Humanitarian crises, such as conflicts, natural disasters and pandemics, often result in human rights concerns. Deteriorating human rights situations may also trigger crises and increase the humanitarian needs of affected populations.

During the response to a humanitarian crisis, protecting human rights is an overarching and key component of humanitarian action. It’s also critical before it – through preparedness and prevention – and after it – in order to strengthen resilience and sustain peace.

If human rights violations are not adequately addressed, the result can be a spiral of injustices and atrocities that aggravate humanitarian needs, fuel existing tensions, and make the crisis worse.

Our work

UN Human Rights mainstreams a human rights-based approach to humanitarian action. To achieve this, we work at both field and global levels, ensuring that the voices of affected communities are integrated in strategic, operational and policy approaches. We advise senior humanitarian leadership and design project proposals to assist at speed and at scale.

We also participate in committees such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the Global Protection Cluster and the Global Health Protection Cluster to advocate for the protection of human rights in global response action.

Learn more about protecting human rights in humanitarian crises and conflict situations.