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.

SDG 17 

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

ICCPR art. 1(1)    

All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.


ICESCR art. 1(1)    

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

DRtD art. 1(1)    

The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples

are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in

which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.

UDHR art. 28    

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

ICESCR art. 2(1)    

Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.

CRC art. 4    

States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.

CRPD art. 32(1)    

International cooperation

States Parties recognize the importance of international cooperation and its promotion, in support of national efforts for the realization of the purpose and objectives of the present Convention, and will undertake appropriate and effective measures in this regard, between and among States and, as appropriate, in partnership with relevant international and regional organizations and civil society, in particular organizations of persons with disabilities. Such measures could include, inter alia:

  • (a) Ensuring that international cooperation, including international development programmes, is inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities;
  • (b) Facilitating and supporting capacity-building, including through the exchange and sharing of information, experiences, training programmes and best practices;
  • (c) Facilitating cooperation in research and access to scientific and technical knowledge;
  • (d) Providing, as appropriate, technical and economic assistance, including by facilitating access to and sharing of accessible and assistive technologies, and through the transfer of technologies.

DRtD art. 3

  • 1. States have the primary responsibility for the creation of national and international conditions favourable to the realization of the right to development.
  • 2. The realization of the right to development requires full respect for the principles of international law concerning friendly relations and cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
  • 3. States have the duty to cooperate with each other in ensuring development and eliminating obstacles to development. States should realize their rights and fulfil their duties in such a manner as to promote a new international economic order based on sovereign equality, interdependence, mutual interest and cooperation among all States, as well as to encourage the observance and realization of human rights.

DRtD art. 4

  • 1. States have the duty to take steps, individually and collectively, to formulate international development policies with a view to facilitating the full realization of the right to development.
  • 2. Sustained action is required to promote more rapid development of developing countries. As a complement to the efforts of developing countries, effective international cooperation is essential in providing these countries with appropriate means and facilities to foster their comprehensive development.

DRtD art. 5

States shall take resolute steps to eliminate the massive and flagrant violations of the human rights of peoples and human beings affected by situations such as those resulting from apartheid, all forms of racism and racial discrimination, colonialism, foreign domination and occupation, aggression, foreign interference and threats against national sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity, threats of war and refusal to recognize the fundamental right of peoples to self-determination.

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.

ICESCR art. 15(1)    

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

  • (a) To take part in cultural life;
  • (b) To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications;
  • (c) To benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

UDHR art. 12    

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

ICCPR art. 17    

  • 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant shall furnish their reports in stages, in accordance with a programme to be established by the Economic and Social Council within one year of the entry into force of the present Covenant after consultation with the States Parties and the specialized agencies concerned.
  • 2. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under the present Covenant.
  • 3. Where relevant information has previously been furnished to the United Nations or to any specialized agency by any State Party to the present Covenant, it will not be necessary to reproduce that information, but a precise reference to the information so furnished will suffice.

CRPD art. 31(1)    

(Right to privacy including respect for human rights and ethical principles in the collection and use of statistics)

Statistics and data collection

States Parties undertake to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the present Convention. The process of collecting and maintaining this information shall:

  • (a) Comply with legally established safeguards, including legislation on data protection, to ensure confidentiality and respect for the privacy of persons with disabilities;
  • (b) Comply with internationally accepted norms to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and ethical principles in the collection and use of statistics.

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