Human Rights Guide to the SDGs?

What is the Human Rights Guide to the SDGs?


The Guide illustrates the human rights anchorage of the 17 goals and provides concrete links between the 169 targets and the range of human rights instruments and labour standards.

Thereby, the Guide reaffirms that human rights instruments and the 2030 Agenda are tied together in a mutually reinforcing way: human rights offer a legally-binding framework as well as guidance for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In turn, the SDGs can contribute substantially to the realization of human rights.

How to use the Guide?

The Guide is the essential tool to:

    • Understand the interlinkages between human rights and the SDGs. Concretely, 156 of the 169 targets (more than 92%) are linked with human rights instruments and labour standards.
    • Develop a human rights-based approach to sustainable development programming, implementation as well as follow-up and review (monitoring, evaluation and reporting)

Step one Step two Step three

  • SDG goals
  • SDG targets
  • Human rights conventions or articles
  • ILO conventions or recommendations
  • … or free text search



…a precise list of matches between goals, targets, specific human rights instrument, ILO conventions and rights-holders.

Now, the list can help you explore additional human rights resources like: state reports, thematic and country specific guidance from monitoring bodies, etc.


…your human rights-based approach to the 2030 Agenda and integrate human rights in:

  • Implementation: Reform, strategies, action plans  and programmes,
  • Follow-up and Review: Reports and dialogues; data, baselines and analyses.

Who can use it?

All actors, including States, local authorities, civil society organisations, businesses, National Human Rights Institutions, regional human rights bodies, the UN-System and specific rights-holders such as women, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, can use the guide to pursue a human rights-based approach to sustainable development. More specifically, the Guide can help:

  • Base national, regional and global SDG action plans and implementation strategies on human rights and labour standards;
  • Incorporate existing human rights monitoring and reporting into SDG follow-up and review, and use expertise and recommendations from human rights monitoring and reporting processes at national, regional and global level to further guide implementation;
  • Identify additional national, regional and global indicators and promote an inclusive, transparent and participatory approach to implementation and follow-up and review processes at all levels.


Human rights are indivisible and inter-dependent. Therefore, it is important that the linkages shown in this Guide should not lead to a simplistic, narrow or compartmentalised interpretation of human rights. Rather, this database aims to highlight some of the most immediate human rights links and implications of the SDGs and targets and thereby intends to serve as a starting point for further in-depth analysis and reflection.

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