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Human Rights

UNFPA is committed to the advancement of human rights in the world. The idea that all individuals are entitled to equal rights and protection is fundamental to UNFPA’s work and to its way of working.

A strong emphasis on the rights of individual women and men underpins the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action that guides UNFPA’s work. This emphasis on human rights at the ICPD moved population policy and programmes from a focus on numbers to a focus on individual human lives. The ICPD Programme of Action – also known as the Cairo Consensus – reaffirmed the application of universally recognized human rights standards to all aspects of population and development programmes, and called for a common ground, with full respect for the various religious and ethical values as well as cultural backgrounds.

UNFPA stresses the interconnections between culture, gender and human rights and their impact in programming. Gender equality is simultaneously a goal and a human right and gender mainstreaming is a cross-cutting strategy for achieving this goal. Cultural factors need to be taken into account in an entry point strategy and a social framework.