Our new publication No One Will Be Left Behind looks at the role of United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to realize economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR).
The publication discusses the mutually reinforcing relationship between the SDGs and ESCR. ESCR can offer a legal foundation and guidance in the implementation of SDGs, and the SDGs may increase support for the realization of ESCR.
‘It is a call to build more bridges between the SDGs and human rights, to ensure that a human rights-based approach will be followed in the implementation of the SDGs, but also to make sure that equality, non-discrimination, participation and attention to the most vulnerable and those who are left behind are fully integrated’ underlines Dr Christophe Golay, author of the publication and Strategic Adviser on ESCR at the Geneva Academy.
The publication highlights that the weakness of the 2030 Agenda lies in its limited accountability framework, based on voluntary national reviews and soft guidance from peers. In that context, UN human rights mechanisms – UN treaty bodies, the UN Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodical Review and Special Procedures – can give the SDGs a strong legal basis and provide a means of accountability via independent mechanisms. They can transform the SDGs’ beneficiaries into rights-holders, and UN Members States as those having legal obligations to implement the 17 goals.
‘UN human rights mechanisms have unique expertise in monitoring the realization of ESCR in UN Member States, promoting equality and non-discrimination and pushing for the adoption of laws, policies and programmes that target the most vulnerable and those who are left behind’ highlights Dr Golay.
The publication underlines that the international human rights system can provide guidance to states in the implementation of the SDGs, as well as to national, regional and international mechanisms established in the framework of the 2030 Agenda, notably the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
‘If this expertise, accountability and targeting are not fully integrated in the SDGs’ architecture and implementation, I am afraid we won’t be able to reach these goals by 2030’ Dr Golay adds.
The publication draws attention to the need to fully integrate human rights into the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, while also providing a set of concrete recommendations for states, UN human rights mechanisms, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the HLPF as to how this might be done.
The Geneva Academy acknowledges the contribution by the International Solidarity Service of the Republic and State of Geneva which funded the publication and related background research.
In this video, Dr Chistophe Golay, Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) at the Geneva Academy, presents our new publication No One Will Be Left Behind which looks at the role of United Nations human rights mechanisms in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to realize ESCR.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
Our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law is a unique and innovative programme that combines high-level academic education and real-world practice in the field of transitional justice. One of the very few courses on this subject in Europe, it focuses on an expanding field where there is a strong need for well-trained professionals.
The discussion notably showcased experiences and best practices, highlighted that a detailed analysis of how corruption violates human rights is lacking, and analysed a human rights-based approach to fight corruption. Panelists also stressed the need for more precise definitions and methodological approaches to counter human rights violations linked to acts of corruption.
Michael Sfard, the most prominent Israeli human rights lawyer and author of the book ‘The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine and the Legal Battle for Human Rights’, will address the current situation of human rights defenders in Israel.
This course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights (HR) and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing HR mechanisms.
The Geneva Academy is coordinating the academic input to the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies by the UN General Assembly via the creation of an academic network of independent researchers, a call for papers, a series of regional consultations, annual conferences in Geneva, as well as ongoing interactions with key stakeholders.
This project aims to support efforts to strengthen the promotion and protection of the rights of peasants, and in particular to provide expert support to the negotiations taking place at the Human Rights Council.