Why do the MDGs need to consider Human Rights? The Millennium Development Goals are largely silent on human rights, and the targets they set are in some cases less than what states are already obligated to do under international law. For example, the MDGs contain no explicit requirement that states identify and address exclusion and discrimination. The targets and indicators for many of the goals do not acknowledge the variety of human rights factors that drive and deepen poverty. Integrating international human rights standards into MDG efforts could lead to more meaningful progress on the MDGs in the next five years. This would require that governments review all MDG initiatives and efforts to ensure their consistency with human rights; address discrimination experienced by women and other groups; set appropriate national targets, both in terms of levels of progress that should be achieved on particular issues and those prioritized; fulfil the right to participation; and strengthen mechanisms for accountability.
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