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Human Rights Assessment for Democratic Governance

B책rd A. Andreassen Oslo Governance Forum, Parallel Session 2: Methods, Tools an Strategies Tuesday October 4, 2011, Oslo


A not-yet-another-ship approach: Human rights and governance – linkages?/! • •

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Human rights – not systematically part of democratic governance and social accountability assessment? (Draft Oslo Principles) Worldwide ratification of basic human rights treaties have made human rights norms key concerns and tools for assessing regime legitimacy, performance and practices (CCPR – 167/5; CESCR - 160/6) Human rights ratification anticipates, demands legal and political accountability, and protection of institutions for social accountability Assessing and measuring human rights conditions and trends give important information about countries’ institutional foundation, political accountability and popular demand for social accountability Human rights as a valuable addition in terms of indicators and data for governance assessment: event-based, standard-based, survey-based data Such assessment addresses mechanisms and instruments that citizens and organisations develop in order to measure governments’ human rights commitment and performance: social human rights accountability


Human rights and governance – a linkage • Democratic governance and social accountability – bringing human rights in – Human rights as part of democratic governance: Three empirical dimensions, and corresponding human rights

• Governance as constituent rules of a polity and management of policy decision and policy-making (Hyden) – Citizens influence and oversight: participation, aggregation of preferences, accountability – Responsive and responsible leadership at all levels: respect for civic action, openness and transparency in policy-making, rule of law – Social reciprocities: political equality, inter-group tolerance, inclusiveness in associations and civic action

• Human rights provide normative and legal indicators for the protection of each of these components of governance


HRBAD and social accountability? According to a human rights based approach, social development and political orders should be consistent with: •Explicit linkage to human rights treaty law (and state obligations). Human rights implementation as a goal of social development and political orders

– Sources of narrative and quantitative data: State reports, alternative reports Incl. data bases, HR Watch systems, special rapporteurs, GC, Concluding observations, case law

•Accountability of the state to uphold rights, and secure capabilities and freedoms of people. • Mechanisms: Political, legal, institutional •Empowerment: Empower people to claim their rights • Mechanisms: Individual complaint; primarily collective •Participation: Access to information, consultations, inclusion •Transparency: Insight, oversight, public discourse, media – old and new •Non-discrimination, equality: gender sensitive, minorities •Vulnerable groups: a priority

These HRBAD components supports the functioning of social accountability


How can human rights inform and influence social development and governance performance? • By upholding principles of HRBAD • By using human rights data and indicators, including public interest litigation (legal accountability) • Securing a bottom up perspective, local • By addressing social justice (poverty issues, affirmative action etc.) • By emphasizing the role of the media • By involving the human rights community at local and national levels


Dilemmas • A missing factor? Power analysis of social accountability – Power as constraint on SA (invisible, hidden); how to

access spaces of power and claim or create spaces of influence?

• Who produces information for SA? – The role of National Human Rights Institutions (100) • Who uses the information, how and what is the purpose of human rights assessment of governance? • Follow up, plan of action, relationship to government?

Human%20rights%20assessment-%20Baard%20A.%20Andreassen  

http://gaportal.org/sites/default/files/Human%20rights%20assessment-%20Baard%20A.%20Andreassen.ppt

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