Mainstreaming Human Rights
23 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2004
The advent of the Human Rights Act 1998 has significantly increased consideration of how best to ensure the effective delivery of human rights in the United Kingdom. In this paper I examine an additional mechanism, the "mainstreaming" of human rights in governmental decision-making, which may help to address some of the limits of existing approaches to human rights compliance. By "mainstreaming," I mean the reorganization, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a human rights perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making. My discussion of the issue reaches the conclusion that mainstreaming human rights is a desirable policy but that there is a need for considerably more discussion as to the most effective practical means of achieving this and that some methods that have been suggested might be counter-productive. I attempt to draw out some of the issues that need to be considered in adopting mainstreaming. In particular, the applicability of existing approaches to equality mainstreaming to human rights is examined.
Keywords: mainstreaming, human rights, United Kingdom
JEL Classification: K10, K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation