Human rights and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are two sides of the same coin: progress toward one will unequivocally yield progress towards the other. Parallel human rights and SDG systems sometimes intersect, and we have a wealth of data, information, stakeholders and actors contributing to both the achievement of the SDGs and the realization of human rights.

Philip Alston famously described the Millenium Development Goals and human rights as 'ships passing one another in the night'. The SDGs are different - they are grounded on human rights. At the midpoint on the road to 2030 and with the SDGs severely off track, this policy brief reflects on the need to harness the potential of human rights and SDG systems integration to accelerate inclusive policy solutions that hasten progress on both human rights obligations and the SDGs for all people: going beyond linkages, data and efficiency to leave no one behind.

This policy brief draws on country examples from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Uruguay and asking the following questions:

How do we harness the human rights-based approach as an enabler of the SDGs to reach the furthest behind first?
How do we turn human rights data and information into development intelligence?
How do we strengthen integration of human rights and SDG systems to boost efficiency and promote inclusive outcomes.

Go here: Human Rights and SDG systems integration: Beyond linkages, data and efficiency to leave no one behind | United Nations Development Programme (


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