Briefing published on the role of UN human rights mechanisms in monitoring the SDGs

Date: 29th March 2018
Category: Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

A report exploring how the United Nations human rights mechanisms can play a role in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to realise economic, social and cultural rights has been published by the Geneva Academy.

The report, entitled 'No one will be left behind', argues that the SDGs and economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) should be seen as mutually reinforcing in that ESCR can offer a legal basis and guidance in the implementation of the SDGs and the SDGs can increase support for the realisation of ESCR. It states that the weakness of the 2030 Agenda, which is the framework through which the SDGs are laid out, lies in its accountability as this is based only on voluntary national reviews and peer-reviewed soft guidance. The author makes the case of using the UN human rights treaty mechanisms to fill this gap by both sharing their work with the SDG monitoring mechanisms and by including SDG monitoring in their own work.

The report makes several recommendations on how this partnership and shared working could be taken forward. These include:

  • UN member states should follow a human rights-based approach in the implementation of the SDGs
  • UN member states should include recommendations from UN human rights mechanisms in the national reviews of the implementation of the SDGs
  • The UN Human Rights Council should continue to include the SDGs more systematically in its work
  • UN human rights mechanisms should more systematically include the monitoring of the SDGs in their own work

  • Read the full report here.