Equal Rights at the Heart of Post-2015 – the Equal Rights Trust responds to the HLP

The Equal Rights Trust has published a paper entitled ‘Equal Rights at the Heart of the Post-2015 Development Agenda‘ in response to the UN High Level Panel (HLP) report released in May 2013. Read extracts below:

“1. The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) is an independent international organisation whose  purpose is to combat discrimination and promote equality as a fundamental human right  and a basic principle of social justice. ERT is the only international human rights  organisation which focuses exclusively on the rights to equality and non-discrimination as  such. Established as an advocacy organisation, resource centre, and think tank, ERT  focuses on the complex relationship between different types of discrimination, developing  strategies for translating the principles of equality into practice.

2. ERT welcomes the publication of “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and  Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development: The Report of the High-Level  Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. We particularly  welcome the Panel’s recognition of the importance of ensuring that “no person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied  universal human rights and basic economic opportunities”. ERT endorses the Panel’s  conclusion that a commitment to “leave no one behind” is a critical transformative shift  towards greater equality which is required to ensure the success of any post-2015  development agenda.

3. We believe that, if this commitment is to be made effective, the post-2015 framework  must be adapted to take account of the role which the denial of equal rights plays in  creating and perpetuating cycles of poverty and disadvantage. Such an approach  necessitates a shift of focus away from aspirations and towards obligations to prevent  discrimination and ensure substantive equality. ERT consequently echoes the position of  the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who recently stated that: [T]he imperative of equality must underpin the entire framework.  Doing so will require the replacing of now widely-discredited  approaches that focus on narrowly-conceived notions of economic  growth, with a dedicated focus on remedying the gross disparities that  characterise our societies, and that undercut true development.

4. ERT’s central recommendation is that the post-2015 framework should include  adoption of comprehensive national equality legislation as a specific development  goal in and of itself. Such legislation should reflect principles on equality developed  on the basis of a unified human rights framework, some of which were formulated  in the 2008 Declaration of Principles on Equality”

Click here to access the full report.

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