15. What is the relation between human rights and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?

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How do human rights relate to the Millennium Development Goals?

Human rights and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are complementary – conceptually, politically and in practice. In the Millennium Declaration (2000), the realisation of human rights is conceptualized as a prerequisite to development and the fight against poverty; thus also for achieving the Millenium Development Goals. According to the Millennium Declaration, the MDGs and sustainable poverty reduction cannot be accomplished without empowerment and participation of poor parts of society.

Human rights and the human rights-based approach enhance the strategies for achieving the MDGs: human rights move beyond national averages so prominent in MDG monitoring and enable people-centred strategies to achieve the MDGs. Human rights require that those affected by poverty and discrimination shape the processes towards achieving the MDGs, and have a right to do so.

Human rights thus enrich the MDGs and the goals and strategies followed to realize them.

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