The UN has long established that rule of law and respect for human rights are fundamental pillars of SSR. This means that the success of SSR is inherently interlinked to the ability of the duty bearers to exercise due diligence with regard to the fulfilment of these human rights obligations. Compliance with human rights has been categorised into positive and negative obligations. The current norm on positive obligation requires national authorities apply the necessary due diligence to safeguard or enforce a right or to adopt reasonable and suitable measures to protect and enforce the rights of the individual or groups. In fact, the established due diligence that developed from the positive obligation is a critical foundation for addressing gender-based violence, a priority issue in SSR. Yet, there is little evidence to support that programmes related to peace and security efficiently incorporate into their human rights based approach (HRBA) the due diligence elements that have evolved in over 20 years of human rights standard setting by the international mechanisms. Moreover, in spite of guidance for its monitoring and evaluation, UN Common Understanding of a HRBA (2003) has not undertaken this endeavour systematically nor assessed it for impact translating into a loss of valuable baseline information and opportunities for evolution. Having positive examples of a HRBA application to SSR is fundamental to making the business case for human rights compliance to national actors implementing SSR and to non-State actors with an influence in the security and justice sector.
Are there good examples of a HRBA applied in SSR that can support the growing evidence base that a HRBA correlates to more impact and sustainable results as pointed out by the former UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights in 2015*?
*See Beyond legal empowerment: improving access to justice from the human rights perspective. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona & Kate Donald (2015) The International Journal of Human Rights.