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Health and human rights Bridging


									  Human Rights-Based
Approach to Programming
       - UNFPA -

        SESSION 2:
   Basics of Human Rights
            Session Overview
• Culture, gender and human rights - an integrated   Over-
  package                                            arching
• What are human rights?
• Human rights as a foundation of the UN             Basics of
• The nature of state obligations                    human
• Examples of human rights
• Accountability
• Key points
Culture, Gender and Human Rights

• Culture, gender and human rights are
Human Rights-Based Approach (1)
•   A culturally sensitive, gender-responsive, human rights-
    based approach has replaced the ‘basic needs’
    approach that UNFPA used to follow

• Central elements of a HRBA:
    – development programmes further the realization of human rights
    – programming is guided by human rights principles, such as
      universality, indivisibility, interdependence, equality and non-
      discrimination, participation and inclusion, and accountability
    – human rights frame the relationship between rights-holders and
Human Rights-Based Approach (2)

• HRBA aims to:
  – protect and promote rights
  – reduce inequality
  – harness the substantive participation of those
    who are most affected
• By definition, HRBA is sensitive to
  issues of culture and gender
 Culturally Sensitive Programming
• Culture:
  – beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours and traditions
    that are learned and shared by virtue of
    membership and socialization in groups

• Culturally sensitive approach aims to:
  – transform cultural traditions from within by using
    societies’ own dynamics of change
  – engage social leadership rather than attempt to
    dispense with it completely
• Gender:
  – social attributes and opportunities associated with
    being male and female
  – relationships between women and men and girls and
  – relations between women and between men
• UNFPA policy calls for :
  – gender equality to be mainstreamed across all
    UNFPA’s activities
  – programme components that explicitly support
    women’s empowerment
 Gender-Responsive Programming

• Within UNFPA, application of gender-responsive
  approach requires understanding of causes of
  discrimination and unequal power relations between men
  and women in specific contexts.

• Given that achieving gender equality and eliminating all
  forms of discrimination are at the heart of a HRBA,
  HRBAs and gender-responsive approaches are
  inextricably related and should be integrated.
How are These Three Approaches


    Basic Concepts and
Principles of Human Rights
    What Are Human Rights?
• Human rights are intrinsic values that give
  all human beings dignity
Characteristics of Human Rights
• Are universal – the birthright of all human beings
• Focus on the inherent dignity and equal worth of all
  human beings
• Cannot be waived or taken away
• Impose obligations upon States and State actors to
  respect, protect and fulfil human rights
• Are internationally guaranteed
• Are legally protected
     Human Rights in Your Work

Everyone      Most people   Some people   A few people    No one
enjoys this    enjoy this    enjoy this    enjoy this    enjoys this
   right         right         right          right         right
    Examples of Human Rights
• Right to life
• Right to health (including mental health, reproductive
  health, sexual health, etc.)
• Right to decide the number and spacing of children
• Right to privacy
• Right to education
• What other examples can you share?

 Can you give examples of UNFPA activities that promote
                      these rights?
The International Human
 Rights Legal Regime
  The International Human Rights Legal Regime (1)

• Human rights are codified in treaties

• The international human rights regime as we know it
  evolved within the United Nations
   – a fundamental purpose of the UN is to promote human rights
   – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the cornerstone
     document of the modern human rights movement
 The International Human Rights Legal Regime (2)

• Treaties and other legally binding documents
  – The Charter of the United Nations
  – Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
  – International Covenant on Economic, Social and
    Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
  – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  – Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
    Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
  – Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
  – Convention on Migrant Workers (CMW)
  – Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
          Treaty Terminology
• Ratification - what does this mean?
• Accession - how is this different from
• Signature - what is expected of a State
  Party if it has just signed, but not ratified, a
• Reservations - what are these?
      Progressive Realization
• Allows governments to take steps towards
  the progressive achievement of the full
  realization of human rights
• Governments cannot use progressive
  realization as an excuse for deferring their
Example of Immediate Obligations
• According to the Committee on Economic,
  Social and Cultural Rights, the following
  obligations are of immediate effect:
  – obligation not to discriminate
  – obligation to take steps targeted deliberately
    towards the full realization of the rights in
  – obligation to monitor progress in the
    realization of human rights
Regional Human Rights Systems
Europe:                            •   European Court of Human
Convention for the Protection of       Rights
Human Rights and                   •   Inter-American Commission
Fundamental Freedoms                   on Human Rights
Americas:                          •   Inter-American Court of
American Convention on                 Human Rights
Human Rights and Pact San          •   African Commission on
José, Costa Rica on economic,          Human and Peoples’ Rights
social and cultural rights         •   African Court on Human
Africa:                                and Peoples’ Rights
African Charter on Human and
Peoples’ Rights
Arab States:
Arab Charter on Human Rights

                                         Action 2 slide
Links Between International, Regional and
           National Systems
•   International and regional norms require national
    implementation to be effective
•   National norms should be consistent with
    international and regional Standards
•   International and regional judicial protection when
    national remedies have been exhausted
•   International and regional protection are

                                   Action 2 slide
        Additional Protections for
             Human Rights
• Declarations, recommendations, conferences and codes of
  conduct generally regarded as having moral force and
  providing a guiding reference to States, include:
   –   The ICPD Programme of Action
   –   The Beijing Declaration and Platform For Action
   –   The Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
   –   The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women
• These commitments have helped to create new
  approaches for considering the extent of government
  accountability for health and gender issues
• ICPD is of particular relevance and significance to UNFPA
      ICPD and Human Rights
• The fifteen principles outlined in the ICPD PoA are
  based on fundamental human rights drawn from
  international human rights treaties, such as:
   – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity
     and rights (grounded in rights to equality, non-
     discrimination, liberty)
   – Advancing gender equality and equity and the
     empowerment of women, the elimination of
     violence against women, and ensuring women’s
     ability to control their own fertility (grounded in
     rights to health, life, equality, freedom to decide the
     timing and spacing of children, etc.)
Obligations to Respect, Protect,
• What are a government’s obligations when
  it comes to human rights?
               Human Rights Obligations
               Duty-bearer’s obligation to:

    Respect                Protect                       Fulfil

    refrain from         prevent others        adopt appropriate
interfering with the    from interfering       measures towards
 enjoyment of the      with the enjoyment       full realization of
        right              of the right              the right

                                        Action 2 slide
Accountability is the process whereby governments/public
service organizations/other institutions and the individuals
within them are held responsible for their decisions and
actions, including their stewardship of public funds,
fairness, and all aspects of performance, in accordance
with agreed rules, contracts, and standards, and fair and
accurate reporting on performance results vis-à-vis
mandated roles and/or plans.

UNFPA Accountability Framework, Report of the Executive Director,
   The Human Rights Council
What is it?          What does it do?
A subsidiary body    • promotes universal protection
of the General       • addresses and prevents
Assembly               violations
composed of          • develops international law
Member States.       • reviews compliance of Member
It replaces the UN     States
Commission on        • responds to emergencies
Human Rights         • international forum for dialogue

                                Action 2 slide
    International Mechanisms:
    The Role of Treaty Bodies
Monitor and facilitate the implementation of the treaty

•   examination of State party reports and additional
    sources of information
•   observations and recommendations
•   General Comments on HR standards contained in
    the treaty
•   examination of individual complaints (some of
•   confidential enquiries (some of them)

                                Action 2 Slide
     Treaty Monitoring Bodies

• Examples of TMBs:
  – The Human Rights Committee monitors compliance
    with the ICCPR
  – The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
    Against Women monitors implementation of CEDAW
  – The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural
    Rights monitors implementation of the ICESCR
    International Mechanisms:
        Special Procedures
Countries:   Thematic mandates include:
– Burundi
             – right to highest attainable standard of health
– Cambodia   – right to education
– DPRK       – extreme poverty
             – right to food
– Haiti
             – freedom of opinion
– Myanmar    – freedom of religion
– OPTs       – IDPs
             – migrants
– Somalia
             – indigenous people
– Sudan      – violence against women

                           Action 2 slide
           National Human Rights
            Protection Systems
• Constitutional and legislative frameworks
• Effective institutions (parliaments,
  governments, judiciary, public administration,
  HR institutions)
• Policies, procedures and processes
• Vibrant civil society

                             Action 2 slides
UNFPA’s Role in Promoting Accountability

• Building closer partnerships between government and
  civil society
• Developing government capacity for collecting and
  analysing data
• Gender-responsive budgeting
• Supporting governments in their reporting to the Treaty
  Monitoring Bodies
• Mainstreaming reproductive rights, gender equality and
  population and development issues into ALL UN
  activities and processes
          Different Levels of
• Accountability of the government/State
• Accountability of UNFPA (the UN in
• Accountability of individuals - service
  providers, teachers, religious leaders, etc.
International Humanitarian Law…
•   Is a set of rules     1. on the care of the wounded
    that seek to limit       and sick members of armed
    the effects of           forces in the field
    armed conflict        2. on the care of the wounded,
                             sick and shipwrecked
•   Protects persons         members of armed forces at
    who are not or are       sea
    no longer taking      3. on the treatment of prisoners of
    part in hostilities      war

•   Restricts the         4. on the protection of civilian
    means and                persons
    methods of            5. in time of war

                                Action 2 slide
1) HRBA                   a) Focus on the inherent dignity
                             and equal worth of all
2) Gender-responsive      b) The Beijing Declaration and
   programming               Platform for Action
3) Human rights           c) Frames relationship between
                             rights-holders and duty-
4) Treaties and other        bearers
   legally binding        d) CEDAW
   documents              e) Requires understanding of
5) An important              causes of discrimination and
   conference promoting      unequal power relations
                             between men and women in
   women’s human rights      specific contexts
• Because a HRBA aims to promote and protect rights,
  reduce inequality and harness the substantive
  participation of those who are most affected, it is by
  definition sensitive to issues of culture and gender
• Understanding human rights law and the UN human
  rights system is essential to the implementation of a
• HRBA is normatively based on international human
  rights standards and operationally directed to promoting
  and protecting human rights

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