UN Organisational Learning: to fully integrate human rights
UN Organisational Learning: to fully integrate human rights

A theme through-out the work of IHRN is the importance of learning from the actual impact of approaches taken in the past - in order to improve for the future. IHRN has worked to facilitate a holistic approach to such learning across the UN system in particular, in the context of:

            • International development
            • International humanitarian response
            • International human rights fieldwork

Recommendations have been made to give effect to UN organisational learning regarding its human rights impact. Here, human rights fieldwork is the specific illustration.

Many organisations are involved in human rights fieldwork, such as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. There is an urgent need for an effective learning process which distills real experience for the benefit of future action. Learning-To Integrate Human Rights, is the result of a two-year consultation process by the International Human Rights Network. It elaborates why this is needed and how it can be achieved.

The process drew on the experience of past and on-going human rights operations, efforts at ‘lessons learning’ by UN actors such as the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations, of Political Affairs as well as the High Commissioner for Refugees and Unicef. The process also looked to other sources such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and beyond - where highly relevant experience regarding organisational development was found in the commercial and military fields.

Individual and system-wide recommendations are addressed to the international organisations concerned with mandating, fielding or funding field human rights work. As focal point for the full integration of human rights in the UN system, specific recommendations are made to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. That Office should commit resources to act as human rights learning hub for the UN family, committed as it is by the UN Charter, to fully integrate human rights in all its work.

Learning - To Integrate Human Rights, by Karen Kenny.

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