Integrating Human Rights Standards


A report from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) calls for integrating human rights standards in post-2015 goals, saying discussion of the post-2015 development agenda is an “unmissable opportunity” to address lack of accountability and unfulfilled development commitments regarding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

OHCHR Report Calls for Integrating Human Rights Standards in Post-2015 Goals

The report, titled ‘Who Will Be Accountable? Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda,’ is co-published by OHCHR and the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR). The report says that drawing on human rights norms and mechanisms will strengthen the accountability of the responsible actors for fulfilling development commitments; create the conditions for people, including the poor and marginalized, to participate meaningfully in public decision making; and allow cases of failure to fulfill development commitments to be brought before national and international human rights mechanisms.

The authors highlight current difficulty in holding industrialized countries to account for commitments made to the global partnership for development (MDG 8).  They suggest that human rights violations may be addressed through judicial as well as non-judicial mechanisms, with the latter including parliamentary committees, administrative hearings, service delivery grievance procedures, citizen consultation groups and community-based accountability systems.

The authors call for the post-2015 development framework to reflect “freedom from fear” as well as “freedom from want,” based on the principles of equity, equality and non-discrimination.  They propose that achieving equality should be a stand-alone goal, and also integrated across all other goals, and that monitoring mechanisms for the MDGs and possible new sustainable development goals (SDGs) should be integrated with national monitoring of public policies. They note that global goals and targets need not be the same as national planning targets that could be specifically tailored to national circumstances.

CESR is a not-for-profit international human rights organization based in Brooklyn, New York. [Publication: Who Will Be Accountable? Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda] [OHCHR/CESR press release] [UN audio recording of publication launch]

A woman watches children working at a stone quarry in Zambia. An international trade organisation has condemned the serious and widespread use of child labour and the worsening workers’ basic rights in Zambia.


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