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Human Rights Indicators - Main features of OHCHR conceptual and methodological framework


OHCHR has developed a conceptual and methodological framework of indicators that can be applied and contextualised at national level.  The OHCHR conceptual and methodological framework adopts a common approach to identifying indicators for monitoring civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights.

The framework recommends the development of structural, process and outcome indicators. This configuration of indicators should help assess the steps being taken by States in addressing their obligations – from commitments and acceptance of international human rights standards (structural indicators) to efforts being made to meet the obligations that flow from the standards (process indicators) and on to the results of those efforts (outcome indicators).

The framework seeks neither to prepare a common list of indicators to be applied across all countries irrespective of their social, political and economic development. Nor to make a case for building a global composite measure for cross-country comparisons of the realization or enjoyment of human rights.

The framework provides guidance for the identification of contextually relevant and feasible indicators in compliance with international human rights norms and principles. Using the adopted framework, lists of illustrative indicators have been identified and are being validated on a number of human rights and thematic issues.

The adopted methodology focuses primarily on indicators that are or can be compiled by official statistical systems using administrative records and statistical surveys.

The framework focuses on quantitative as well as qualitative indicators. Efforts have been made to keep the indicators simple, based on objective and transparent methodology and, to the extent feasible, with an emphasis on disaggregation by type of prohibited discrimination and by vulnerable and marginalized population group.

Human rights indicators allow States to assess their own progress in implementing human rights and compliance with the international treaties, and also provide tools for civil society to monitor progress and ensure accountability. They can assist national governments in implementing rights-based policy, bolster cases argued by human rights advocates and provide further access to information.