Human Rights &
Good Governance

“Human Rights define Human Security”
- Bertrand Ramcharan

Human Rights and Good Governance forms part of the core concept of Human Security, and are mutually reinforcing. Human rights are the rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Good governance is a widely used expression with no concrete definition. However, in its resolution 2000/64, the Commission on Human Rights identified the following key attributes of good governance: transparency, responsibility, accountability, participation and responsiveness to the needs of the people. Human rights principles set the content of good governance such as a legislative framework and policies. Likewise, good governance ensures the rightful implementation of human rights.

Legally, the major international breakthrough came in 1948 with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The declaration provides basic guarantees regarding food, health, education, housing, protection of the family, democracy, participation, the rule of law and protection against enslavement, torture, cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The declaration is followed up by the following conventions:

  • The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (16 December 1966)
  • The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (16 December 1966)
  • International Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (1979)
  • International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 December 1965)
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child (20 November 1989)
  • The Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families  (18 December 1990)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

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