The Secretary-General issued the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on United Nations support to non-United Nations Security Forces (HRDDP) and instructed all United Nations entities considering or engaged in providing support to non-United Nations security forces, including national military and police forces and non-United Nations peacekeeping forces, in particular regional forces of support, to comply with it. The Policy was transmitted by the Secretary-General to the President of the United Nations General Assembly and to the President of the United Nations Security Council in identical letters on 25 February 2013.
The HRDDP sets out due diligence measures that United Nations entities are expected to take within the scope of their mandates, to ensure that the support they provide to non-United Nations security forces is consistent with the purposes and principles of the Organization in the Charter and its responsibility to respect, promote and encourage respect for international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.
Furthermore, the policy is based on existing standards and obligations that States have accepted through their membership in the United Nations, through their recognition of standards set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and through their acceptance of obligations under key international instruments.
In 2015 an inter-agency guidance note was developed to support the implementation of the HRDDP across departments, agencies, funds and programmes, building on experience on the application of the HRDDP in different countries and contexts. The text of the policy, which is mandatory, is attached to the note. The guidance note should be read in conjunction with the policy and provides clarification on some aspects of the policy, a suggested framework for implementation at country level suited to various settings (covering communication of the policy, risk assessment and mitigating measures, a monitoring framework, and procedures for intervention when grave violations are committed), as well as examples and templates.
Furthermore, in January 2019, the Secretary General’s Executive Committee called on “all relevant entities to develop their own internal procedures for HRDDP application, including through streamlining into business and financial processes, development of guidance and establishment of focal points.” In this regard, UNODC has developed its internal human rights risk assessment check list, and is in the process of developing its own internal guidance and procedures.
UNODC’s role in promoting peace, security and human rights is anchored in all its mandate areas. Our role in supporting States to build capacity in preventing and addressing crime, corruption, violence, terrorism, drugs and violent extremism is not only based on the drugs, crime and corruption legal instruments, and the United Nations Standards and Norms on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, but also on the UN Charter and international humanitarian law. Whether partnering with national border forces, detention centres, police or other stakeholders, any engagement can be critical in ensuring the principle of humane interventions, and the protection of human rights, dignity and well-being of all.
While UNODC's assistance always aims to promote human rights, the Office is aware and sensitive to the challenges that exist or can arise in specific contexts and while providing tailored responses, with a special focus that its technical assistance activities do not incur the risk of aiding or supporting human rights abuses.
Furthermore, as a United Nations entity, UNODC applies, as appropriate, the UN-wide Human Rights Due Diligence Policy, in addition to its human rights risk assessment check list, both of which require human rights risk assessments and the adoption of mitigating measures.
Human rights risks and mitigation is included in UNODC programming cycle (strategy setting – programme development – resource mobilization – implementation and monitoring – evaluation). Programme and project documents are required to include background evidence on human rights to determine the human rights-related effects of proposed activities, as well as information on risks and risk mitigation strategies. Moreover, periodic performance reviews are conducted, including on human rights issues, for example through the submission of Annual Programme Progress Reports by all UNODC programme/project managers.