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Human Rights




The global community has recently been emphasizing the mutually complementary connection between development effectiveness and the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA). During the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea, human rights was recognized as an important element of development cooperation. The HRBA means to integrate human rights-related norms, standards, and principles that were confirmed by the international community through international treaties and declarations into development plans, policies, and processes. The UN Millennium Declaration in 2000 calls for all development processes and procedures to guarantee human rights, thus giving it legitimacy. Professional organizations under the UN, including the UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, WHO, and ILO, are leading the way in developing relevant theories and execution methods. KOICA actively supports the global community's efforts and stance to integrate human rights into development cooperation. It reflects the human rights perspective in formulating KOICA policies and strategies and executing programs.



Reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development based on enhancement of human rights in partner countries 


High-level objective

  • To realize human rights through empowerment of project beneficiaries in partner countries
  • Major principles: Participatory, Equality and Non-discrimination, Accountability


Strategic Objectives

To develop Capacity of the right holder and duty bearer

To Establish institutional foundations for the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA)

Key Programs

To implement Program to strengthen human rights-related capacity

To Reflect the human rights perspective in CPS and KOICA’s major policies and strategies

To Develop detailed guidelines in relation to a human rights-based approach

To Reflect the human rights perspective in the process of developing KOICA programs (from selection, planning, execution, monitoring, to evaluation).

-Introduce Rights marker for evaluation

To Strengthen partnerships with internal and global partners




Apply consideration for human rights, a cross-cutting issue, to the overall process of KOICA programs, ranging from planning to evaluation


*Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA)


KOICA's HRBA is an approach that requires the establishment of human rights-based objectives and the fulfillment of relevant obligations for the entire process of development - not just the development outcome. In other words, HRBA refers to human rights guidelines or principles that should be considered in the overall process of establishing development policies and implementing programs. It is not a specific development program model. This means that human rights should be adopted as a cross-cutting issue across all the sectors.




KOICA adopted human rights as one of the cross-cutting issues that need to be considered throughout the entire process of implementing development policies and projects. It has been making efforts to reflect human rights as main issue. The “KOICA Support Strategy on Human Rights (2013-2015)” was formulated in 2012 which aims to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development based on by enhancing human rights in partner countries, based on which KOICA is promoting sustainable development and increasing project effectiveness based on enhancement of human rights in partner countries. It also formulated its vision and high-level objective in the area of human rights and defined major principles, approaches, goals, and detailed strategies to effectively achieve vision and objectives. To this end, KOICA has adopted the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA), which is in line with the international community's principle-Participatory, Equality and non-discrimination, and Accountability and then tries to reflect the principles in all the plans, policies, and procedures. KOICA has set the implementation strategies in order to strengthen the capacity of the right holder and duty bearer and to build institutional foundations for the HRBA. KOICA plans to monitor and evaluate every program from the perspective of human rights and will share the outcome. In this sense, it has introduced ‘Human rights marker’ that is used to consider whether the projects and programs are directly related with promoting human rights.


1. To develop capacity of the right holder and duty bearer


The capacity of the right holder and duty bearer are important in terms of abiding by international principles and standards on human rights during actual project implementation. The right holders (beneficiaries of development cooperation projects) should recognize their rights and can require being satisfied with their demand as active agents of change, rather than as passive beneficiaries. The duty bearers (KOICA and project participants) should regard the provision of support as their obligation and make efforts to faithfully fulfill the obligation. Based on this recognition, KOICA has been strategically implementing specific measures, i.e. to operate programs which aim to strengthen human rights-related capacities, to establish human rights-related policy tools (detailed HRBA guidelines, etc.), and to strengthen partnerships with internal and global partners regarding human rights initiatives.


 (1) Develop and operate programs which aim to strengthen human rights-related capacity

To train KOICA project personnel about human rights based approach and reflect the training outcome; organize human rights-related forums for project participants and experts; conduct work discussions that reflect the human rights perspective; organize human rights ODA training courses for general citizens; and publish policy documents on human rights.


 (2) Develop and disseminate human rights-related policy tools

To develop HRBA guideline and disseminate it internally and externally.


 (3) Strengthen human rights-related partnerships

To follow trends on major human rights issues and approaches among global community; actively engage in policy discussions of the international community (such as discussions held by the UN, OECD DAC, and consultative bodies of donor countries); generate synergy effects through close cooperation with government departments, project implementation organizations, the academic sector, and experts in Korea; and expand projects by building partnership with civil society organizations.


2. Establish institutional foundations for the HRBA


In order to institutionalize the HRBA, KOICA has tried to reflect the human rights approach in CPS, major policies, and strategies. It is also making efforts to reflect the human rights perspective in KOICA's program implementation system.


 (1) Reflect the human rights perspective in KOICA’s CPS, major policies, and strategies

Conduct researches on human rights and analyze previous research results by other donor agencies; engage in pilot adoption and expansion of human rights analyses based on research results; and develop human rights programs especially for the countries where human rights violation is serious.


 (2) Reflect the human rights perspective in KOICA's program implementation system

Adopt performance management systems which aim to increase the effectiveness of human rights-related projects (reflect the human rights perspective in the project screening and selection process, adopt human rights impact assessments, develop integrated indexes for effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation) and include human rights evaluation in policy evaluation forms (create a checklist and move forward with pilot adoption of the checklist).


Major projects in 2015   


Projects (US$ ~million / from ~ to ~)


The Project on Upgrading the Daklak college of vocational training for central highlands ethnic minority youths (US$ 5 million / from 2013- to 2015)

School Welfare programme for minority ethnic children in Khanh Hoa (US$ 0.03, from 2013 to 2015)

Children Welfare Center for Urban poor children in Ho Chi Min city

(US$ 0.06mil, from 2013 to 2015)


Empowerment program for physically challenged person based on rights and self-reliance

 (US$ 0.25 mil , from 2014 to 2016)


Project on Resettlement Area Income Increase and Basic Education (US$ 0.04,  from 2013 to 2015)

Human Rights Policy Development

(US$ 0.12 mil, 2015)


Project for Support UXO(unexploded ordnance) Sector in the Lao PDR (US$ 3 million / from 2014-2016)


Hope school for poor children in Manahari (US$ 0.03, from 2013 to 2015)


The Project for Establishment of Special School for Hearing Impaired Students in Marka                                               

(US$ 5.2 million / from 2014 to 2017)


Capacity Development for Human Rights Policy

(US$ 0.15mil, 2015)


Implementation of a public participation and fighting corruption electronic platform (e-people) (US$ 5 million, from 2015 to 2017)