In step with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and its Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) adopted by Heads of State and Government at the United Nations Summit in September 2015 (A/RES/70/1), this note aims to provide general guidance and elements of a common understanding on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Data (HRBAD), with a focus on issues of data collection and disaggregation.
As part of the 2030 Agenda, States explicitly reaffirmed their commitment to international law and emphasized that the Agenda is to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the rights and obligations of States under international law. 2 They pledged to leave no one behind and for more systematic data disaggregation to help achieve and measure the goals.3 As devising disaggregation of indicators (or not) is not a norm or value neutral exercise, and the risks associated with this operation for the protection of the rights of data subjects cannot be denied, an HRBAD has much to offer in this context. As outlined in this note, an HRBAD helps bring together relevant data stakeholders and develop communities of practice that improve the quality, relevance and use of data and statistics consistently with international human rights norms and principles. This note draws from internationally agreed principles for statistics4 and echoes the call for a data revolution for sustainable development5 , which upholds human rights. It should be of interest to all policymakers, statisticians or data specialists (in government agencies or civil society organizations (CSOs), development practitioners and human rights advocates eager to ensure respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights in the measurement and implementation of the 2030 Agenda.