The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly references human rights throughout its text, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the related 169 targets directly or indirectly reflect human rights standards. The SDGs are designed to “leave no one behind”, and the Agenda integrates crosscutting human rights principles such as participation, accountability and non-discrimination. In other words, the 2030 Agenda and human rights are inevitably tied together. Given their unique mandate and role, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can play a key role in the implementation and follow-up of the Agenda, and are at the core of the SDG ‘web of accountability’.
NHRIs are independent state institutions that operate from an unbiased and strong position between the State, civil society and international institutions. Their monitoring mandates give them a unique position to act as both watchdog and advisor, to uphold the human rights embedded in the SDGs.
In October 2015, GANHRI met in Mérida, Mexico, to discuss the various roles and functions that NHRIs can undertake to make human rights the foundation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and help translate the SDGs into reality on the ground. The Mérida Declaration outlines some of the activities that NHRIs can undertake. You can find the Merida declaration here
In 2017, GANHRI has undertaken a study on how NHRIs support the implementation of the SDGs. The findings reaffirm the key role of NHRIs with regards to sustainable development, and contribute to the sharing of experiences, good practices and knowledge management with and among NHRIs, civil society, governments and other stakeholders.
The different NHRI experiences with SDG implementation and follow-up presented in the study bear witness of the wide range of approaches that NHRIs make use of to engage with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ensure accountability in the process.
The study is now available for download here:
GANHRI_NHRIs engaging with the SDGs.pdf