Best practices and main challenges of human rights

Post-disaster and post-conflict situations are humanitarian crisis that can represent a critical threat to the health, safety and well-being of a community. There are three categories of humanitarian crisis: man-made disasters, complex emergencies and natural disasters. These crises can be mitigated through humanitarian action, which according to WHO can be provided in forms of direct assistance (delivery of goods and services), indirect assistance (transport of relief goods or personnel) and infrastructure support (road repair).

Humanitarian assistance provided to populations affected by disaster or conflict pays particular attention to groups, which are vulnerable because of their social, economic, political, cultural and ethnic position. Women, children, people with disabilities, indigenous communities or LGBTI are disproportionately affected in the situation of disaster and conflicts.

The humanitarian response in emergencies is guided by the holistic human rights approach to protect affected populations. This approach is based on the following principles:

  • Universality – everyone can is entitled to the human rights protection
  • Indivisibility – human rights are indivisible
  • Participation – people opinions are taken into account
  • Non-discrimination – human rights must be guaranteed without discrimination
  • Accountability – mechanisms and action must be accountable
  • Transparency – information and decision- making processes related to human rights must be transparent.
  • Do no harm or do less harm by providing humanitarian assistance.

The holistic approach requires taking into consideration different branches of international law: international human rights law, humanitarian law, refugee law and international criminal law. There is also a need to tailor the response with legal, social, political, ethical and cultural relations of the affected population. Only inclusive implementation can guarantee the effectiveness of human rights protection.


  • Ensure adequate protection of human rights in post-conflict and post-disaster situations
  • Provide specific funding for emergency response, relief and reconstruction
  • Inclusion of the holistic human rights approach in the humanitarian aid plans and mechanisms
  • Guarantee special protection to vulnerable persons
  • Implication of accountability and transparency in human rights-based approach
  • Respect “do no harm” principle in humanitarian response in case of a risk of risk of infringing or violating the human rights of the affected people

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