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Introduction to Human Rights


The Experience of Maldives ... The Government of Maldives is currently developing Action Plans to follow-up on ... Reservations entered by Maldives ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Human Rights

Introduction to Human Rights Approaches to Devel
The Experience of Maldives
Practical Training Module for the UN Country Team
and its Partners June 2008
Introduction and main objectives
  • Acquire basic knowledge of international human
    rights law and human rights obligations of
  • Acquire basic understanding of the UN Human
    Rights System and Mechanisms
  • Understand the usefulness of human rights in
  • Learn practical methodologies to apply human
    rights approaches to development (Exercises 1 and

Content of the training
  • The Training Module has 9 sessions, including
    two optional sessions.
  • Day 1
  • Session 1 International human rights law 1 h
  • Session 2 Exercise 1 The human rights concerns
    of your Unit 1 h 30
  • Session 3 UN human rights systems and mechanisms
    45 minutes
  • Day 2
  • Session 4 Usefulness of human rights in
    development 45 minutes
  • Session 5 (Optional session) Human rights and
    health 45 minutes
  • Session 6 (Optional session) Human rights,
    environment and climate change 45 minutes
  • Session 7 Operational features of human rights
    approaches to development 45 minutes
  • Session 8 Exercise 2 The HRBA challenges of
    your Unit 1 h 30
  • Session 9 Lessons learned from Maldives 45

All human beings are born free and equal in
dignity and rights Art. 1, UDHRThe law, in
its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well
as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg
in the streets, and to steal bread Anatole
France Democracy is two wolves and a lamb
voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a
well-armed lamb contesting the vote! Benjamin
Session 1 Introduction to international human r
ights law

What are human rights?
  • Universal rights to which every person is
    entitled because they are justified by a moral
    standard that stands above the laws of any
    individual nation.
  • Human rights
  • Are universal
  • Are guaranteed internationally without
    discrimination on any grounds
  • Focus on the inherent dignity
  • Are indivisible and interdependent
  • Are legally protected
  • Cannot be waived or taken away
  • Impose obligations of action and omission mainly
    on the State and its agents
  • Protect individuals and groups


How human rights have been codified by the Unite
d Nations?
  • We the Peoples of the United Nations,
    determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human
    rights, in the dignity and worth of the human
    person, in the equal rights of men and women and
    of nations large and small (UN Charter)The
    recognition of the inherent dignity and of the
    equal and inalienable rights of all members of
    the human family is the foundation of freedom,
    justice, and peace in the world (UDHR)

(No Transcript)
UN human rights treaty system
  • Each human rights treaty has a supervisory body
    called treaty body (TB) with three main tasks
  • Monitor the implementation of the treaty by
    examining state reports
  • Produce concluding observations
  • Produce general comments

General comments
  • The human rights treaty bodies (TB) publish their
    interpretation of the content of human rights
    provisions, in the form of general comments on
    thematic issues.
  • The general comments of each TB are listed at
  • Both CERD and CEDAW refer to their general
    comments as "general recommendations".


Concluding observations
  • Outcome of the reporting process
  • Represents an important tool for policy makers
    and development practitioners
  • Help to measure political will, obstacles
    encountered and progress made, to identify new
    trends, and to complement the efforts made by the
    Government and its development partners
  • The Government of Maldives is currently
    developing Action Plans to follow-up on the CRC
    and CEDAW Concluding Observations
  • A thematic compilation of concluding observations
    is available in annex 5

Right-holders and duty-bearers
UN/UNCT Support
  • Right-holders300,000 Maldivian people more
    than 60,000 migrant workers tourists
  • Every individual
  • To some extent groups
  • Duty-bearers Much less
  • Primarily States
  • In some cases individuals have specific
  • International organizations
  • Non-State actors

National HR protection mechanisms (Courts, HRCM)
UN Human Rights Mechanisms
Human rights obligations
Fulfill Take steps to progressively realize HR
Take steps to ensure that third parties do not
interfere with the enjoyment of HR States must
protect women and girls from sex offenders
Do not interfere with the enjoyment of HR States
should refrain from carrying out arbitrary arrest
or not arbitrarily restrict the right to peaceful
To facilitate Engage proactively to strengthen
peoples ability to meet their own needs
creating conditions in which the market can
supply the healthcare services
To provide Direct provision of services To
provide affordable construction aggregate for
building housing with the view to end the use of
sand from beaches that speeds up the process of

Content of international human rights instruments?
  • The right to life, liberty and security of
  • Freedom of association, expression, assembly and
  • The right to health
  • Freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • The right to a fair trial
  • The right to decent work
  • The right to adequate food, housing and social
  • The right to education
  • The right to equal protection of the law
  • Freedom from arbitrary interference with privacy,
    family, home or correspondence
  • Freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or
    degrading treatment or punishment
  • Freedom from slavery
  • The right to a nationality
  • Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • The right to vote and take part in the conduct of
    public affairs
  • The right to participate in cultural life

Examples of the scope of economic and social rig
  • Right to health UDHR (art. 25 paragraph 1),
    ICESCR, art. 12 CEDAW, Art 12 CRC, Art 24
    CRPD, Art 25 CESCR General Comment No. 14 (2000)
    relevant COs and SP recommendations
  • Right to work ICESCR, arts. 6, 7, 8 and 9
    ICCPR, art. 8 See also CEDAW (arts. 6 and 11)
    CRC, arts. 32, 34, 35 and 36 ICERD art. 5 e (i)
    ILO Conventions on Child Labour (Conventions N
    138 and 182) ILO Conventions on Forced Labour
    (Conventions N29 and 105) ILO Conventions N 87
    on Freedom of Association and N 98 on the right
    to Organize and Collective Bargaining relevant
    COs and SP recommendations
  • Right to housing ICESCR, art. 11 CESCR General
    Comment No. 4 (E/1992/23) and General Comment No.
    7 (E/1998/22, annex IV) ICERD, art. 5 CEDAW,
    art. 14.2 CRC, arts. 16.1 and 27.3) relevant
    COs and SP recommendations

Examples of the scope of civil and political rig
  • Access to justice ICCPR, art. 14 CRC, art. 40
    CEDAW, art. 15.2 and ICERD, art. 5(a) relevant
    COs and SP recommendations
  • Political rights and freedoms ICCPR, art. 19 and
    HRC General Comment 10 (1983), art. 21, art. 22
    (see also ICESCR, art. 8), art. 25 and HRC
    General Comment 25 (1986) ICERD, art. 5(c), (d)
    (viii) and (ix) CEDAW, art. 7 and CRC, arts. 13
    and 15 relevant COs and SP recommendations
  • Personal security/arbitrary detention ICCPR,
    art. 9 ICERD, art. 5(b) and CRC, art. 37 b, c
    and d


Reservations entered by Maldives
  • When becoming party to the main international
    human rights treaties, the Government of Maldives
    entered reservations to a number of provisions
    under the ICCPR, CRC and CEDAW related to freedom
    of religion, equality of men and women,
    alternative care and adoption


Reservations Freedom of religion
  • The Government entered a reservation to article
    18 of ICCPR on freedom of religion or belief
  • The Government expressed its reservation to
    paragraph 1 of article 14 of the CRC (freedom of
    thought, conscience and religion) since the
    Constitution and the Laws of the Republic of
    Maldives stipulate that all Maldivian should be


Reservations Gender equality
  • The Government of the Republic of Maldives
    expressed its reservation to article 7 (a) of the
    CEDAW, to the extent that the provision contained
    in the said paragraph conflicts with the
    provision of article 34 of the current Maldivian
  • The Government reserved its right to apply
    article 16 of the CEDAW concerning the equality
    of men and women in all matters relating to
    marriage and family relations without prejudice
    to the provisions of the Islamic Sharia, which
    govern all marital and family relations of the
    100 percent Muslim population of the Maldives.


Reservations Alternative care and adoption
  • The Government has also expressed its
    reservation to articles 20 and 21 of the CRC,
    dealing with alternative care and adoption since
    the Islamic Shariah is one of the fundamental
    sources of Maldivian Law and since Islamic
    Shariah does not include the system of adoption
    among the ways and means for the protection and
    care of children contained in Shariah.


Maldives status of reporting
  • Three Committees (CERD, CRC, and CEDAW) already
    reviewed Maldives reports and produced
    concluding observations and recommendations.
  • Both the CRC and CEDAW recommended the Government
    of Maldives to make the necessary revisions to
    the Constitution and legislation to facilitate
    the withdrawal of the reservations and to seek
    inspiration from other Muslim countries which
    have either withdrawn similar reservations or not
    entered any reservations to the two Conventions

Expanded core document
  • The Government of Maldives is in the process of
    finalizing an expanded core document with an
    initial state report under the ICCPR and a
    combined periodic report under ICERD
  • It will initiate consultation with civil society,
    HRCM and UN system on the draft report


Individual complaints mechanisms\inquiries
  • No individual complaint has been yet considered
    by the HRC and CEDAW
  • The Government did not accept the competence of
    the CAT and CERD to deal with individual
  • Under CAT and CEDAW, inquiries could be conducted
    with the collaboration of the Government of

Introduction of IHR obligations into the domestic
normative framework The Constitutional Reform of
Using the international human rights instruments
acceded to by the country, General Comments and
Concluding Observations/Recommendations, each
group/unit identifies the most acute human rights
concerns they face in their daily
workObjectives- Get familiar with
international human rights instruments and
tools- Translate development issues into human
rights issues- Identify capabilities of
rights-holders and duty bearers
Session 2 Exercise 1 Your human rights concerns
Session 3 UN human rights mechanisms
Human rights sources, systems and mechanisms
International Human Rights Instruments
Treaty Bodies -------------------- Special
Procedures -------------------- Universal
UN Charter UDHR
Other instruments (ILO, Geneva Conventions)
The Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • What does it do ?
  • Promotes universal protection
  • Addresses and prevents violations
  • Develops international law
  • Reviews compliance of Member States
  • Responds to emergencies
  • International forum for dialogue

What is it ? A subsidiary body of the General Ass
embly composed of Members States.
It replaces the UN Commission on Human Rights
UN treaty bodies
Special procedures of HRC Country Visits Commun
ications, Statements
Thematic studies
Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
Compilation of stakeholder submissions
Compilation of UN doc.
Collaboration of the HRCM with UN human rights
UNCT support
  • Strengthen capacity (prison inspection)
  • Provide in-house expertise (juvenile, health)

National Preventive Mechanism
2010 Universal Periodic Review
  • Shadow report
  • Follow-up to conclusions
  • Shadow report
  • Follow-up to concluding observations

Treaty Reporting
  • Contribute to missions/reports
  • Follow-up to recommendations

Special Procedures
If individuals do not help one another, they
live in poverty if society does not recognize
the rights of individuals, conflicts appear
poverty creates anxiety and conflicts engender
wretchedness. To appease anxiety and eliminate
conflicts, the best way is to institute a society
which clearly recognizes the rights of the
individual (Chinese Philosopher SIUN TSEU,
310-230 BC) True individual freedom cannot
exist without economic security and independence
(Franklin Delano Roosevelt)Even if he can vote
to choose his rulers, a young man with AIDS who
cannot read or write and lives on the brink of
starvation is not truly free. Equally, even if
she earns enough to live, a woman who lives in
the shadow of daily violence and has no say in
how her country is run is not truly free (2005
SG report In larger Freedom)
Session 4 Usefulness of human rights in
UN Charter UDHR
Cold War
Human Rights
Peace Security humanitarian action
1997 UN reform agenda 2000 UN guidelines for
RC 2002 SG report (Action 2) 2003 UN Common Un
derstanding 2005 SG report In larger Freedom
Action 2 (2002-2008)
Copenhagen Cairo
Vienna Beijing
2000 2002/3
Millennium Summit MD and MDGs
UN country teams role
DUTY BEARERS __________ Actors with obligations
to respect, protect and fulfill

RIGHTS HOLDERS ___________ Individuals and group
s who have claims

Fulfill duties (laws, policies, services, data
monitoring, remedies)
Claim rights (information, participation,
access to remedies)
Capacity Development
UNCT SUPPORT Advocacy, service delivery, technica
l assistance

UN country teams role
  • In applying the human rights-based approach the
    following measures can be identified as priority
    areas and possible entry points for UN
  • Allocate budgets to programmes that aim to fulfil
    human rights
  • Harmonise national law and policy with the
    provisions of the Conventions
  • Create human rights mechanisms or strengthen
    existing ones at the national or local level for
    coordinating policies and for monitoring
  • Follow-up to Treaty Bodies Concluding
  • Make the principles and provisions of the treaty
    widely known.
  • Provide adequate remedies in the case of
  • Share information and experience with the Treaty
    Bodies on the progress achieved and obstacles
    encountered in the implementation of the treaty

Human rights related responsibilities of the Re
sident Coordinator
  • UN Guidelines for Resident Coordinators (2000)
  • Forward any received complaint or other
    communication related to an alleged HR violation
    to the OHCHR
  • Faithfully respect, represent and promote the
    norms, standards and policies of the organization
    including those related to Human Rights
  • Encourage host Governments to ratify/accede to
    international HR treaties
  • Seek to ensure that UN Staff are adequately
    trained in Human Rights
  • Decision of the SG's Policy Committee (May
  • Coordinate the work of the UN country teams in
    mainstreaming human rights into operational
    activities for development at country level
  • Promote international human rights standards and
    principles and advocate for human rights as a
    common UN value in dialogue and interactions with
    national actors.  But RCs will not - undertake
    human rights monitoring, investigation or
  • Facilitate access to knowledge and expertise on
    human rights and ensure close interaction between
    the UNCTs and OHCHR
  • Act as interlocutors for the High Commissioner
    for Human Rights to national authorities where
    requested and appropriate

Action 2
  • Ultimate aim To ensure that the rights of
    individuals are respected and protected, through
    strengthened national human rights protection
  • This includes
  • Laws consistent with international human rights
  • Effective functioning of courts, judiciary and
    law enforcement as well as independent human
    rights institutions or ombudsman.
  • Procedures for individuals to effectively claim
    ones rights.
  • Good governance and accountable government
    institutions that promote and protect human
  • Democratic, open, transparent and participatory
    decision making process.
  • Strong civil society, including a free and
    independent media.

Why human rights in development?
Does a human rights approach to development
require the UN to engage in partisan politics?
  • Ethical reason Human rights expose power
    relationships in society and sharpen the
    political edge of participation.
  • Normative reason Human rights put international
    human rights commitments of a given country at
    the center of development practices.
  • Programme reason Human rights represent a means
    to ensure accountability of various actors,
    including non-states actors. Human rights imply
    duties, and duties demand accountability.

Added value from adopting human rights approache
  • Add legitimacy to reduce poverty and
  • Stress that a great deal of vulnerability/poverty
    originates from discriminatory practices
  • Dispel misconception about the role of civil and
    political rights in development process
  • Attach much importance to the quality of
    development process
  • Rule out trade-offs that are potentially harmful
    for groups at risk
  • Emphasize the accountability of policy makers

Needs vs. human rights
  • Needs
  • What is required/necessary
  • Needs are met or satisfied
  • Needs do not necessarily imply duties
  • Needs can be met by charity and benevolence
  • Needs are often associated with non-legal
  • Human Rights
  • What is inherent to human beings
  • Human Rights are realized
  • Human Rights always imply correlative duties
  • Charity is seldom mandatory, rights always are
  • Rights are always associated with legal

The UN common understanding on the HRBA
All programmes of development co-operation,
policies and technical assistance should further
the realization of human rights as laid down
in the UDHR and other international human rights
Human rights standards and principles guide all
development cooperation and programming in all s
ectors and phases
of the programming process
Development cooperation contributes to the
development of the capacities of duty-bearers
to meet their obligations and/or of
rights-holders to claim their rights
UN common understanding on HRBA/Basic principles
  • Universality and inalienability
  • Indivisibility
  • Interdependence and Inter-relatedness
  • Equality and non-discrimination
  • Participation and inclusion
  • Accountability and rule of law

Session 5 (Optional) human rights-based
approaches to health
  • Human rights are values in themselves
  • Definition of health as a complete state
  • All health policies based on value-judgments
  • Respect for human rights promotes health
  • HIV/AIDS, maternal health, adolescent health,
  • Human rights are an advocacy tool
  • Disabilities, climate change and health
  • Human rights offer a consistent conceptual
  • Environmental health water, sanitation,
    participation, transparency, accountability.

Why link health with human rights?
  • Human rights violations worsen health
  • E.g. discriminating health care programmes that
    exclude vulnerable groups
  • Public health measures may violate human rights
  • E.g. involuntary sterilization of women and men
    from certain population groups
  • E.g. breach of confidentiality of HIV test
  • Promotion of human rights improves health
  • E.g. informing people of environmental health
  • Respecting the confidentiality of HIV test
  • Improvement of health improves human rights
  • Improvement of health care for disabled children
    promotes rights to education, work,
    participation, etc.

HIV/AIDS human rights
  • HIV exceptionalism human rights policies are
    also good HIV/AIDS policies
  • HIV tests consent, counseling and
  • Access to treatment
  • Non-discrimination in education, employment,
    travel, etc.
  • Rights of SWs, MSMs, IDUs, women young people,
  • 90-95 unaware of HIV positive status ? scaling
    up of testing
  • Voluntary Counseling and Testing vs. PITC
  • Is PITC allowed/prohibited/necessitated by HRs?
  • WHOUNAIDS PITC allowed in high-prevalence
    settings, when 3 cs are observed

Human rights and disabilities
  • From subjects to right-holders
  • Convention of the Rights on Persons with
  • Why a special convention?
  • Amendments to policies laws equality,
    education, privacy, health services,
    independence, access, community life, marriage
  • Open questions legal capacity, reproductive
    health, effective implementation

Gender, women health
  • Issues e.g. reproductive health, maternal
    health, gender-based violence
  • CEDAW General Recommendation No 24 Women and
  • Non-discrimination in health care, esp. in rural
    areas family planning, pregnancy
  • Equality in health care no requirements for
    spouse authorization/marital status
  • Rights to information, education
  • Equal rights in marriage

Protection of health vs. restriction of human ri
  • Conflicts between HRs and health
  • Drug-resistant TB / Avian influenza vs. freedom
    of movement
  • Public health vs. freedom of thought?
  • Siracusa principles legal, legitimate,
  • Conflicts among rights?
  • HIV/AIDS individual freedoms versus the right to
  • Protection against XDR-TB right to health
  • Is this good for human rights advocacy?

Session 6 (optional) human rights and environme
nt/climate change
If we are people who seek development by destro
ying our own land, we are people without a
future Environmental activist, Addu Atoll
(Maldives), 2008 We shall require a substantia
lly new manner of thinking if mankind is to
survive. Albert Einstein you can murder land
for private profit.  You can leave the corpse
for all to see, and nobody calls the cops.  Paul
Brooks You forget that the fruits belong to a
ll and that the land belongs to no one. 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Human rights and environmental/natural disasters
  • Natural, manmade and environmental disasters
    including earthquakes (e.g. Pakistan, 2005, China
    2008), tsunamis (e.g. Asia, 2004), storms and
    floods (e.g. New Orleans, 2005) and others
    (cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, 2008) always result
    in the destruction of housing that invariably
    result in the large-scale displacement of people
    from their homes, lands and properties.
  • In many settings, those displaced return home
    once conditions so permit, and quickly begin the
    long and difficult task of rebuilding their
    former lives.
  • All too often, however, in other cases the
    displaced are arbitrarily and/or unlawfully
    prevented from returning to and recovering their
    homes, and/or otherwise involuntarily relocated
    to resettlement sites despite their wishes to
    return home. This problem was particularly
    prevalent following the 2004 Asian tsunami.
  • The loss of homes and displacement impact on the
    whole spectrum of rights

Linkages between human rights and
environment/climate change
  • Reflected in developments relating to human
    rights and in the activities of international
  • Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration (on access to
    information, participation and effective
    remedies) even if not comprehensive - has
    played an important role in fostering connections
    between human rights and environment
  • Human rights treaties address environmental
    issues as well as include the value of the
    environment in their systems of protection, such
    as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and
    ILO Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and
    Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries
  • Substantial body of case law and decisions at the
    international, regional and national level has
    recognized the violation of a fundamental human
    right as the cause, or result, of environmental
  • At the national level, the right to a healthy
    environment (or a related formulation) has been
    formally recognized in many national
    constitutions enacted since 1992
  • The 2007 Male Declaration recognizes the human
    rights dimension of climate change

A new area of work Human rights and climate cha
  • In March 2008, the UN Human Rights Council
    adopted by consensus a resolution tabled by the
    Maldives Government on the subject of human
    rights and climate change, requesting OHCHR to
    prepare a study on the subject for 2009 and
    encouraging member states to contribute to the
  • In the context of the development work, many
    issues addressed by UN programmes have strong
    linkages with the impact of climate change
  • UNCT can therefore support in many ways the
    initiative launched at the international level by
    the Government of Maldives

Human rights and climate change
  • Taking a human rights approach to climate
    change, grounded as the international human
    rights regime is, in the principle of the
    inherent dignity of the human person, implies
    that it is not so much the total numbers of those
    displaced that matter, but rather the fact that
    each and every single person who is forced from
    their home, against their will, must have a
    remedy available to them which respects their
    rights, protects their rights and, if necessary,
    fulfils their rights as recognised under
    international human rights law Scott Leckie,
    Lecture on the human rights implications of
    climate change, February 2008, Male

Some examples of the relationship between human
rights, environment and climate change
  • Right to life Where death resulted from manmade
    environmental disasters or the mismanagement of
    natural disasters
  • Right to respect private and family life Forms
    of environmental degradation which might be
    attributed to the State, in particular for its
    failure to prevent environmental degradation by
    private actors
  • Right to property/housing Forms of environmental
    degradation result in a substantial fall in the
    value of the property, provided that the State
    may be held responsible and that the economic
    loss has not been adequately compensated by the
  • Right to information Failure to inform the
    public about the imminence of a manmade or
    natural disaster

Some examples of the relationship between human
rights, environment and climate change
  • Right to an adequate standard of living During
    the emergency phase of a environmental/natural
    disaster, affected communities should be provided
    with adequate food, water and sanitation,
    shelter, clothing and essential health services
    without any forms of discrimination
  • Right to freedom of movement Persons displaced
    by environmental/natural disaster/climate change
    should be provided with the information necessary
    to exercise their right to decide freely where
    they want to live
  • Freedom of expression Mechanisms should be
    established to enable communities to give
    feedback and raise complaints or grievances on
    the disaster relief, recovery and reconstruction
    response as well as the Government response to
    climate change. Efforts should be made to ensure
    that women and persons with special needs e.g.
    children, older persons, persons with
    disabilities and single-headed households are
    specially consulted and can participate in all
    aspects of the disaster response

Added value of linking human rights to environme
nt and climate change
  • National level It provides legal protection for
    victims of environmental harm accountability
    link (claim holders/duty bearers) NHRIs
  • International level Allow victims of
    environmental harm the right to bring
    complaints/concerns against the State through the
    mechanisms and procedures established under the
    UN human rights treaties (reporting process to UN
    treaty bodies and individual complaints
    mechanisms) as well as the special procedures of
    the Human Rights Council


Session 7 Operational features of human rights
approaches to development
  • Explicit reference to the international and
    national human rights norms and standards
  • Non-discrimination as a guiding principle for
    protecting groups at risk
  • HRBA should give an equal attention to process
    and substance


A human rights approach to the process of
formulating, implementing and monitoring
development policies and programmes
  • Participation What is the method used to
    identify those who will participate? Who
    represents civil society during the
    consultations? What are the criteria for
    selecting the representatives of civil society?
    How to include community based groups, especially
    those located in the remote areas? Is the quality
    of participation being monitored?
  • Access to information What kind of information
    is made available? Is it understandable to
    non-technicians? Is it available in Dhivehi? What
    are the methods of dissemination?
  • Accountability Do the UN, government, and other
    relevant actors report to the public and civil
    society on their programmes and the extent to
    which they have or have not integrated comments
    gathered during the consultations?


A human rights approach to the content of
development policies and programmes
  • The programme or policy should
  • Contain an explicit link to international human
    rights norms and standards and concluding
    observations of the UN treaty bodies (See
    exercise 1)
  • Identify right-holders and duty-bearers (See
    exercise 1)
  • Strengthen the capacity to claim of right-holders
    and the capacity to comply of duty-bearers (See
    exercise 1)
  • Not discriminate against other groups or rights
    (See exercise 2)
  • Contain monitoring mechanisms (See exercise 2)
  • Contain human rights indicators (See exercise 2)


A human rights approach to the content of
development policies and programmes
  • The programme should
  • Apply a differential focus in terms of gender,
    social status, disability, age etc
  • Ensure that rights of others outside this group
    are not violated
  • Ensure that other rights are not negatively

A human rights approach to the content of
development policies and programmes Monitoring
and Evaluation
  • What to measure?
  • Programme performance (Impact, Outcomes, Output)
  • Programme process Participation, accountability
    and non-discrimination
  • Programme context
  • existence of laws, policies and institutional
  • Duty-bearers efforts to meet their obligations
  • Right-holders disparities in enjoying rights

based on human rights principles
Based on claims and obligations in human rights
Under HRBA, the monitoring of the context is
equally important as the monitoring of the
A human rights approach to the content of
development policies and programmes Human rights
  • Various initiatives
  • Micro-thesauri A Tool for Documenting Human
    Rights Violations, HURIDOCS 2001,
  • Database with general qualitative information
    (provided by Member States) on Parliamentary
    Human Rights Bodies http//
  • In Nepal, the Informal Sector Service Centre
    (INSEC) has been producing a Human Right Yearbook
    since 1992 (http//www.benetech,org)
  • Socio-economic statistics of relevance to human
    rights monitoring, see initiative by the Human
    Rights Commission in South Africa (SAHRC),
  • The Manual for the Development of system of
    Criminal Justice Statistics-2003,
  • Indicators on HRBA, a users guide (UNDP),
  • Project on human rights indicators
  • .

Typology of human rights indicators
  • Structural Indicators
  • Process Indicators
  • Outcome Indicators

Structural indicators
  • Reflect the ratification / adoption of legal
    instruments and existence of basic institutional
    mechanisms deemed necessary for facilitating
    realisation of the concerned human right.
  • E.g.
  • Number of human rights conventions ratified that
    are related to the concerned human right
  • Major constitutional measures and legal-
    regulatory safeguards to protect the concerned
    human right
  • Nature of public and civil society institutional
    mechanisms at local level that assist in the
    promotion and protection of the concerned human
  • Establishment of a national human rights
    institution and/or national preventive mechanism
    on torture
  • Existence of a government mechanism following up
    concluding observations of treaty bodies as well
    as communications and recommendations of the
    special procedures of the Human Rights Council

Process indicators
  • Relate the State policy instruments with
    milestones (which cumulate into outcomes that can
    be more directly related to realisation of
    rights), hence capture accountability as well as
    the notion of progressive realisation.
  • E.g.
  • of complaints received by National Human Rights
    Institutions categorized by type of human rights
  • of replies from the Government to
    communications of special procedures
  • of places of detention visited by the national
    preventive mechanism (torture)
  • of publicly available draft governments
    policies and legislation that is accessible to
    the public (right to information)
  • Proportion of the total number of Government
    staff, UN staff, NHRIs staff and human rights
    NGOs successfully trained on the IHRL and UN
    human rights mechanisms
  • Production of core document and/or treaty
    specific report(s) through genuine consultation
  • Proportion of displaced or evicted persons
    rehabilitated / resettled over a five year period
    (right to housing)
  • Proportion of vulnerable population (children,
    expectant mothers, aged persons) covered under
    public nutrition supplement programme (Right to

Outcome indicators
  • Capture attainments, individual and collective,
    that reflect the status of realisation of human
    rights in a given context. E.g.
  • of complaints investigated by National Human
    Rights Institutions
  • of complaints settled by National Human Rights
  • of legislation that is human rights compliant
  • Proportion of perpetrators of the reported cases,
    identified and brought to justice (right to life,
    violence against women, torture)
  • Average time spent by an under-trial in police
    custody before judicial examination (fair
    trial/arbitrary detention/torture)
  • Minimum floor space and cubic content of air for
    each detainee (torture, see HRC decision Albert
    Womah Mukong v. Cameroon )
  • of total number of detainees with a separate
    bed (human treatment/torture)
  • Average household expenditure on food for the
    bottom three deciles of population (Right to food
  • Proportion of households spending more than X
    percent of their monthly income/ expenditure on
    housing (Right to housing affordability)
  • Life expectancy at birth (right to health)
  • of GDP invested in infrastructure dedicated to
    water and sanitation (Right to drinking water)

Session 8 Exercise 2 Your HRBA challenges
  • Participants will identify the HRBA challenges of
    their Units
  • Each Unit will focus on one or two projects
  • Reference doc. Quality check-list (annex 4)
  • Objectives
  • Approach development work with a different
    mindset to redirect and restructure attention in
    policy analysis and action
  • Provide a practical methodology to apply HRBA
    (quality check-list)

I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in
doubt or when the self becomes too much with you,
apply the following test Recall the face of the
poorest and weakest man whom you may have seen,
and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is
going to be of any use to him. Will he gain
anything by it? Will it restore him to a control
over his own life and destiny? Then you will
find your doubts and your self melting away
(Mahatma Gandhi)
Session 9 Lessons learned from Maldives
Rights-based assessment HRBA training
  • A rights-based assessment of the UN programming
    in Maldives was conducted from January to March
    2008 in close consultation with programme
    officers of UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA
  • The present training was conducted for all UN
    staff from May to June 2008

Lessons learned and recommendations (from the ri
ghts-based assessment)
  • In the context of the Governments reform agenda,
    the introduction of HRBA to UNCT and other
    development agencies in Maldives is timely
  • The differentiation between rights-holders and
    duty-bearers was thought to be useful
  • HRBA help to increase public trust in the use of
    funds by Government and development agencies
  • HRBA help to challenge top-down approaches
  • Need to increase awareness about HRBA at the
    policy level

Lessons learned and recommendations (from the ri
ghts-based assessment)
  • Getting rights-holders and duty-bearers to take
    ownership of projects remains a challenge
  • HRBA provides more efficient and satisfactory
    outcomes for communities
  • To make explicit links to international human
    rights norms and standards
  • To better inform rights-holders about their
    rights and duty-bearers about their obligations
  • To increase coordination between UN agencies to
    ensure that HRBA is applied in programming

Lessons learned and recommendations (from the
HRBA training)
  • Lack of knowledge about human rights and HRBA
    among rights-holders and duty bearers, including
    implementing partners
  • The need to monitor the quality of participation
  • Lack of access to information
  • Lack of empowerment of rights holders to hold
    duty bearers accountable (limited mechanisms for
    reaching the community, e.g., civil society)
  • Need for more rights-based indicators (especially
    process indicators)
  • Exercises 1 2 of the training (including the
    quality check-list) provide a practical
    methodology on how to operationalize HRBA when
    developing CCA/UNDAF, CPD, CPAP, AWP as well as
  • The importance of the neutral role of the UN