Home 5 Good Practice Toolkit 5 Quality Principle 1: Rights, Justice and Safeguarding

Quality Principle 1:
Rights, Justice and Safeguarding

Development and humanitarian initiatives respect and protect human rights and advance justice.


This Quality Principle recognises the centrality of individual and collective human rights, inclusive participation, equity and protection for those who are vulnerable and those who are affected by the intersecting drivers of marginalisation and exclusion, which include but are not restricted to race, religion, ethnicity, indigeneity, disability, age, displacement, caste, gender, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, poverty, class and socio-economic status.

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ACFID’s members work in the understanding that the realisation of human rights is fully consistent with the achievement of aid and development and that conversely, the denial of rights, especially to vulnerable groups is an active barrier to their development.

Quality Principle 1 covers human rights; addressing the needs and rights of vulnerable and marginalised people; international standards in humanitarian assistance; coordination with others in providing humanitarian relief; the protection of children and the protection of those who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Commitments and Compliance Indicators of Quality Principle 1 are deliberately framed to provide scope for the diverse approaches that ACFID’s members take in contributing to the realisation of human rights.

Quality Principle 1 calls on ACFID’s members to not only to respect and protect the human rights of the individuals and communities where they work, but to commit to advancing the inclusion of all, and to strive for a world where all individuals can enjoy their rights to the fullest extent.

Quality Principle 1 also calls for the safeguarding of those who are particularly vulnerable. Acts of abuse and exploitation have a profound negative impact on the people affected, whether communities where we work, our partners or our own staff and volunteers.  Unless organisations work to prevent and adequately address such actions, we breach our principles and our commitment to safeguarding, do no harm, accountability and meeting legal requirements.

Quality Principle 1 is implemented through five Commitments by ACFID Members.



We respect and protect human rights, acknowledging power and resource inequities, systemic barriers and racism.


We prioritise the needs, voice, rights, and inclusion of those who are in vulnerable positions or experiencing marginalisation and exclusion.


We support people affected by crisis.


We advance the safeguarding of children.


We advance the safeguarding of those who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.