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The Push for Pledges is a campaign to encourage meaningful actions by Member States, with the dedicated aim to show commitment towards improving communities, nations, everyone’s human rights. It builds towards one of 2023’s pinnacle moments the “Pledging Tree,” a live embodiment of all the pledges made by Member States throughout the year.

Member States of the United Nations are encouraged to propose up to five flagship pledges to participate in this cumulative moment of the initiative. 

Civil society organisations play a vital role in advocating for policy or legal changes and ensuring greater financial investment in human rights. They are also very welcome to submit pledges:

As local and regional authorities are often closest to people’s lives, pledges can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of human rights for all. Cities are therefore furthermore welcome to submit pledges by following the below guidance.

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), as State bodies, play a crucial role in promoting and monitoring the effective implementation of international human rights standards at the national level. As such, NHRIs and their regional networks are also very welcome to submit pledges.

Businesses have an impact on the lives of a multitude of groups and individuals, from workers to consumers and local communities. Therefore, pledges can have a meaningful influence on the enjoyment of human rights for all.

The Human Rights 75 initiative focusses on universality, progress and engagement under the leadership of UN Human Rights together with its partners. It is being buoyed by a series of global consultations on human rights issues, culminating in a high-level event in December that will announce global pledges and ideas for a vision for the future of human rights. Read more about Human Rights 75

Why pledge during Human Rights 75?

Pledges revitalise global consensus on human rights, are a beacon for concrete change towards greater enjoyment of human rights across all sectors and age groups, and set the direction for delivering on commitments.

Pledging is both a present activity and a visionary one. It facilitates reflection on imminent and future needs, challenges, and aspirations. For example, agreements and commitments taken today on climate change, new technologies, digital resources or any of the critical issues of our time can set us on a course for the best possible future outcomes.

What is a pledge?

Pledges can take many forms – from revamping systems and policies to being a vocal defender of human rights. Here are a few ways pledges can ensure freedom, equality and justice for all:

  • Reviewing or introducing key legislation.
  • Developing new policies and schemes and/or expanding and extending their benefits and beneficiaries.
  • Increasing budget allocation for human rights, for example through access to health, education, work opportunities.
  • Ratifying human rights conventions and optional protocols.
  • Removing reservations to international human rights treaties.
  • Strengthening judicial independence.
  • Establishing or strengthening an independent national human rights institution and/or a national mechanism for reporting or follow-up.
  • Making a financial contribution to the UN Human Rights Office or other human rights infrastructure.

How can a pledge be meaningful?

When pledging, involving others is key by considering:

  • Wide levels of engagement: Pledges can relate to actions at domestic, regional and global level; they can also be made collectively such as by States, regional organizations, or other groupings. It is important to reflect on the national actors and stakeholders who can design and effectively implement the pledge. Setting the scene and identifying measure for successful implementation also guide the parameters and content of a pledge.
  • Diverse themes: think about how all rights - civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights – can inform pledges.  
  • Partnership opportunities: Collaborating is a great way to develop a comprehensive pledge and can inspire additional ideas and initiatives. This can entail working with an OHCHR field presence and UN Country Team, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations, women’s groups, human rights defenders, faith-based actors, youth groups and victims/survivors of human rights abuses and contraventions.
  • A SMART approach: Pledges should follow a human rights-based approach, be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). Pledges and declarations made in the context of the 2023 SDG Summit should mutually reinforce Human Rights 75 pledges.

Questions/comments - please write to: [email protected]