This article looks narrowly at whether a ‘human security’ approach can be seen in a UN peace operation that pursues stabilization, namely the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). The UN’s interpretation of stabilization has not been expressly set out, but stabilization missions typically work alongside the host state to extend state authority and use robust force to counter spoilers. Human security is a concept which is rights-based, promotes the ‘vital core’, has a concern for vulnerability, utilises preventative protection methods, and empowers local persons to have agency in the peace process. Attempts have been made to institutionalise and mainstream human security practices within the UN. An analytical framework of human security is outlined in this article and used to assess to what extent the mandate of MINUSCA pursues human security-based goals. An extensive review of UN documentation looks at the mandate and practice of MINUSCA and it is argued that the mission does seek to empower local people, engage in a bottom-up manner and entrench the rule of law. The analytical framework also casts light on aspects of the stabilization mandate which are problematic such as militarisation and cooperation with the host state.