The 2018 Sphere Handbook : From Human Rights to Humanitarian Practice

Geneva, 6 November 2018

The 2018 Sphere Handbook: From human rights to humanitarian practice

Over the last decade, the number of people affected by humanitarian crises has continued to increase, making it vital to unlock the fullest potential of every actor to save lives and uphold the rights of people affected by crises.

Sphere contributes to this shared commitment by working as a catalyst to develop the best available standards and concrete guidance to improve the quality and accountability of humanitarian action.

Christine Knudsen, Executive Director of Sphere, said: “The Sphere Handbook is grounded in the expertise of a diverse community of practitioners. It is field tested, practical and actionable. Built on shared principles and commitments, the Handbook sets out agreed minimum standards which translate the rights to water, shelter, food and health into clear and measurable actions.”

The 2018 Sphere Handbook is the result of a far-reaching and inclusive consultation process. It is informed by evidence, research, and established field practice, with inputs from a diverse community of practitioners from all regions and backgrounds, including affected communities as first responders.

The Sphere Handbook was first developed twenty years ago, as one of the first initiatives to improve quality and accountability in humanitarian action.

“The standards have been regularly updated over the two decades to ensure they remain fit for purpose in a changing world. The foundation of the work, however, remains steady: all people affected by crisis have the right to assistance, the right to life with dignity, the right to protection and security, and the right to fully participate in decisions related to their own recovery,” said Ms. Knudsen.

The Sphere Handbook provides a comprehensive framework to guide anybody working in humanitarian action to understand fundamental principles, protection, technical standards of quality and measurable indicators. Sphere creates this framework to ensure accountability to the people we serve, as well as to partners, colleagues, and those who provide resources for this important work.

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