Human rights


To enable everybody to live with dignity, GIZ is working to strengthen human rights. Its partners are states and civil society.

Human rights are the universal basis for a life lived with dignity and freedom. They are the guiding principle and the cross-cutting role of all German development policy.

They also govern GIZ’s actions. Through its work, GIZ aims to change the social and institutional framework in partner countries, such that individuals are able to assert their rights. On behalf of the German Government, GIZ also works to ensure equal access for all to state services such as education, healthcare and justice and to give individuals the opportunity to secure a livelihood. GIZ wants to enable every individual to participate in economic and social development and the decisions taken by society. Through its work, it is helping to realise the crosscutting aim of the Sustainable Development Goals, ‘to leave no one behind’.

Key themes in GIZ’s human rights work are:

Equal opportunities and non-discrimination

Equal opportunities for all underpin GIZ’s work for inclusive and diverse societies. GIZ supports reforms in a wide range of areas. Equal rights for women and girls is particularly important. Women and girls should be able to take part in the economic life of their country on an equal footing with men. Women should have better access to land and to labour, financial and economic markets. GIZ’s involvement also aims to ensure equal rights for people with disabilities.

Participation and empowerment

GIZ strengthens representatives of civil society so that they can provide critical and constructive support for the actions of the state and are able to function as advocates for citizens’ rights. Special attention is paid to the rights of disadvantaged groups. All individuals should be able to make decisions relating to their own lives without discrimination.

Transparency and accountability

GIZ strengthens the capacities of national and regional human rights institutions. The aim is to equip these institutions to monitor states’ compliance with human rights, and to drive conformity with human rights standards.

Protecting, empowering and involving children

Children and young people have considerable potential to make positive changes in society. Children in particular also need a high level of protection. GIZ strengthens the structures that protect and empower children and young people. It also supports social dialogue on child protection and children’s rights and works to involve children and young people in political and social decision-making.