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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals through integration with human rights
Author(s): Bexell, Magdalena
Hickmann, Thomas
Schapper, Andrea
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Keywords: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Global governance
Human rights
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Issue Date: Jun-2023
Date Deposited: 25-Jan-2024
Citation: Bexell M, Hickmann T & Schapper A (2023) Strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals through integration with human rights. <i>International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics</i>, 23, pp. 133-139.
Abstract: This paper discusses the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the long-standing human rights system of the United Nations. Thematically, these two modes of global governance strongly overlap. Several SDGs are in line with human rights obligations. At the same time, the SDGs and human rights are based on divergent logics and constructed very differently. After capturing the key characteristics of the two governance modes, this paper highlights the differences between the SDGs and human rights and introduces a novel conceptualisation to enhance our understanding of the relationship between rights-based and goal-based approaches. Against this backdrop, we assess this relationship and argue that human rights have the potential to strengthen and reinforce the SDGs. In particular, we sketch some future pathways to better integrate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with existing human rights instruments to enhance accountability, review, and participation in decision-making in relation to the SDGs.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10784-023-09605-x
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
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