The UNDG Human Rights Working Group, established at the behest of the UN Secretary-General, aims to integrate human rights in the UN’s development work. The overall objectives of the group are to bolster system-wide coherence, collaboration and support for Resident Coordinators and UN country teams, so that they can better provide support to Member States to strengthen national capacity for the promotion and protection of human rights.

The UNDG Human Rights Working Group plays a catalytic role in making the UNDG ‘Fit for Purpose’ to deliver a human rights-based development agenda firmly anchored in universal norms and standards through:

  • Providing a policy forum for  policy coherence in human rights mainstreaming across the UN development system.
  • Making human rights expertise available to national development actors and processes, anchored in strong human rights leadership by Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams with strengthened capacity and support structures.
  • Acting as the lead mechanism through which the UNDG can effectively deliver on the responsibilities and demands made on the UN development system by the Human Rights Up Front initiative.

Key Focus Areas of UNDG Support to RCs and UNCTs in 2016*

    1. Strengthening policy coherence on human rights and developing advocacy messages and analyses on the human rights dimensions of development
    2. Supporting RCs and UNCT leadership engage politically and tactically on human rights, through scaling up deployment of in-country and regional human rights advisers and providing guidance and training
    3. Ensuring a dynamic interface between the UN development system and the UN human rights system
    4. Supporting UNCTs apply a human rights-based approach to development through strengthening capacities of regional UNDG Teams; bolstering knowledge exchange, including through the UN Human Rights Policy network and the UN HRBA Practitioners’ Portal; and integrating human rights into UNDG Guidance
    5. Support the UNDG meet its responsibilities under Human Rights up Front Initiative through supporting stronger human rights analyses and strategic responses; and deploying tailored and timely support to UNCTs to address potential risks of or actual violations of human rights.

To support the UNDG Human Rights Working Group in achieving its objectives, in particular to support UN country teams respond to the growing demand for support on human rights a Multi-Donor Trust Fund has been created.



Karin Lucke

Policy Adviser, Human Rights