Human Rights Indicators: From Theoretical Debate to Practical Application

Gauthier De Beco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Human rights indicators are an instrument that has received great attention in recent years. They provide a way of monitoring compliance with international human rights treaties with a view to evaluating progress towards the realization of human rights. However, most sets of human rights indicators have never been applied. Although there are a few examples of using such indicators, discussions on them seem not to leave the conceptual sphere, a problem which to date has not been discussed. This policy note aims to provide a methodology for developing human rights indicators with a view to their subsequent application and to elaborate strategies to facilitate this application.The paper is divided into three sections. The first section examines the origin, purpose and evolution of human rights indicators. The second section concerns the development of human rights indicators. After examining the reasons for their infrequent application, it proposes a methodology for their development divided into different steps, and then applies this methodology to the right to education. The third section discusses questions to be addressed in order to facilitate the application of human rights indicators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-397
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Human Rights Practice
Issue number2
Early online date31 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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