Linkages between Human Rights and SDGs

The OHCHR has emphasised the importance of integrating human rights to define the SDGs and has made efforts to ensure that strategies and policies to implement the 2030 Agenda are human rights-based. 

As part of its efforts, the OHCHR mapped linkages between the SDGs and fourteen international human rights instruments - ① Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), ② International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), ③International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ④International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), ⑤International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), ⑥Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), ⑦Declaration on the Right to Development (UNDRTD), ⑧Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ⑨International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW),  ⑩Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW), ⑪Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Conflict (OP-1), ⑫Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ⑬International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPEP) and ⑭Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 

This section includes the relevant rights to each of the goals, though the listing of relevant rights is not exhaustive.


Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

UDHR art. 25

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

ICESCR art. 11    

  • 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international cooperation based on free consent.
  • 2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed:
    • (a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;
    • (b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.

UDHR art. 27   

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

ICESCR art. 15(1)(b)    

The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone:

To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.

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