Paper

Realizing Human Rights Through Government Budgets

September 2017 | By the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Budget Partnership

Governments have obligations under international human rights law to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights and to make available the necessary resources to do so. A government’s budget is an essential means by which to assess their efforts for the realization of human rights.

This publication explores the linkages between obligations under international human rights law and budget policies and processes. It seeks to sensitize government officials to better understand their human rights obligations as they decide budget allocations, implement planned expenditures, and assess the budget’s impact on the realization of human rights. It also aims to provide non-governmental actors with information about the relationship of human rights to budget processes and specific budget decisions, so that they are better able to hold their governments to account.

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