The Guiding Principles were developed within the framework of the international, inter-institutional project 'Consolidating the Profession: The Human Rights Field Officer'. This project is led by Management Board members The University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre; the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation; the University of Pretoria Human Rights Centre; the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna; Mr. Roberto Garretón; and Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn.
The Guiding Principles, together with the associated Statement of Ethical Commitments of Human Rights Professionals, emerged from a highly consultative process that took account of the views of a wide range of current and former human rights field officers, as well as other experts, and reflect the proceedings at expert consultations convened by the project during 2004-2008 in Asia, Africa and Europe. They are made available to relevant organisations as well as to individual human rights field officers, with the intention of contributing to the enhancement of the professional quality of their work. It is also envisaged that they will be of assistance to the various actors, such as humanitarian and development agencies, and international military and police components, who engage with human rights field operations, whereby they will have a better understanding of their work and their methods.