Human rights are a person’s most basic rights, such as life, liberty, and security. Whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status, we are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all inalienable, interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
The first international agreement on human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Its first draft was prepared by the Canadian law professor John Peters Humphrey. The UDHR has since been followed by UN covenants on civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights.
International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups. The core principles underlying the human rights conventions recognize the equality of all people and the accountability of governments for the promotion, protection, and fulfillment of their rights. Observance of human rights is fundamental to the well-being of individuals and to the sustainable development of societies.
When groups are denied their rights, they can neither contribute to, nor benefit from, social and economic progress. This perpetuates exclusion and often results in conflict, putting progress at risk. Among the groups most commonly excluded are the poor, the elderly, women, children, persons living with disabilities and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, ethnic minorities, and refugees.
The goal of CIDA’s Deployment for Democratic Development program is to enhance the realization of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights by all individuals in society. DDD supports technical assistance to incorporate human rights standards and principles into public institutions and programs to increase knowledge of, demand for, respect for, and enjoyment of human rights. Special measures are taken to strengthen respect for the rights of women and the protection of children.
DDD human rights initiatives aim to:
- Realize the human rights of women, children, and marginalized groups
- Strengthen formal human rights institutions and mechanisms
- Support civil society, education and accountability roles
DDD human rights initiatives:
African Peer Review Mechanism - Supporting Civil Society and Media Engagement in the African Peer Review Mechanism
Côte d’Ivoire – Strengthening Civil Society Organizations
El Salvador - International Conference on Ethics in Democracy
Peru - Supporting the Office of the Ombudsman
South Africa - Promoting a Food Secure Southern Africa
Sudan - Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Process
Tanzania - Changing Public Service Behaviour: Social Marketing Campaign