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Strengthening human rights in the crisis of peace and security


Reference number



Programme Director
Julia Purcell

Project manager
Andrea Fallon

Seventy five years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, armed conflict and insecurity in regions around the world have increasingly put the international human rights framework to the test. Some of the most serious human rights abuses take place in times of crisis, impacting thousands of civilians and with a disproportionate effect on women and girls as well as persons and communities in vulnerable positions.

Overall, the multi-lateral system is under pressure with critics questioning its legitimacy and some states challenging the founding principles. These threats are compounded by rapidly shifting and increasingly polarised political stances around the world. In this context- and with some states robustly offering their own interpretation- human rights appear increasingly fragile. However, global responses to the invasion of Ukraine have highlighted the importance of the existing international architecture, demonstrating the need for swift action as well as revealing some shortcomings.

This conference will consider the effectiveness of human rights mechanisms and responses in the context of international crises in peace and security, drawing on learning from a range of countries and regions affected by conflict. In particular it will focus on: the ability of the UN system to address serious human rights violations in conflict, the relationship between the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council and related mechanisms; the need to further embed human rights based approaches in conflict response; and ways in which to address gaps in protection through the complementarity between international humanitarian law and human rights.

This invitation only Wilton Park conference, the 17th in the annual series, is being developed in partnership with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Wilton Park reference: WP3013

In association with

Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs logo
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland logo

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