5. CARE’s commitment to international principles and standards

CARE is signatory to various standards and commitments related to humanitarian or development work, including: the Charter for Change on localization; the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS); the Grand Bargain; the Generation Equality Forum (GEF); and the Sphere standards.​​​​​​

The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief provides a common code of conduct for organisations working in emergency response.

Core Principles

  1. The humanitarian imperative comes first.
  2. Aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.
  3. Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
  4. We shall endeavour not to act as instruments of government foreign policy.
  5. We shall respect culture and custom.
  6. We shall attempt to build disaster response on local capacities.
  7. Ways shall be found to involve programme beneficiaries in the management of relief aid.
  8. Relief aid must strive to reduce future vulnerabilities to disaster as well as meeting basic needs.
  9. We hold ourselves accountable to both those we seek to assist and those from whom we accept resources.
  10. In our information, publicity and advertising activities, we shall recognise disaster victims as dignified humans, not hopeless objects.

Annex 36.5  Code of conduct with explanatory notes

CARE is committed to upholding and promoting international legal frameworks, including Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. The rights of people affected by emergencies are enshrined in bodies of law including the:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (outlines basic human rights standards including the right to life with dignity for all people), which is the foundation for two binding UN treaties: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • International Refugee Law (defines the rights of people who cross international borders to seek asylum. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement describe the responsibilities of states towards the rights of displaced people within their own country. However, under international law they are legally non-binding.
  • International Humanitarian Law (establishes the rights and obligations that apply in conflict situations in particular the rights of non-combatants in conflict situations)
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child.

CARE should always uphold these international laws and principles in our own programmes, and advocate to uphold these laws where the rights of people affected by emergencies are being denied. For more information, see Advocacy.

CARE is committed to uphold common internationally agreed humanitarian standards, most notably those set established by Sphere, the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership and People in Aid. CARE has developed a Humanitarian Accountability Framework that integrates these common standards. For more details, see the chapter on Quality and accountability.