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.