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Principles on The Human Rights of Future Generations

Principles on The Human Rights of Future Generations

GI-ESCR is proud to announce that our Executive Director, Magdalena Sepúlveda is one of the drafters of the newly adopted “Maastricht Principles on The Human Rights of Future Generations”. The drafting of the principles was led by a drafting group composed of Sandy Liebenberg (Chair); Ashfaq Khalfan; Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona; Miloon Kothari; Sharon Venne-Manyfingers; Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh and Carroll Muffett.

The Maastricht Principles on the Human Rights of Future Generations seek to clarify the present state of international law as it applies to the human rights of future generations. The Principles consolidate the developing legal framework and affirm binding obligations of States and other actors as prescribed under international and human rights law. They also provide a progressive interpretation and development of existing human rights standards in the context of the human rights of future generations. They further recognize that States may incur additional obligations as human rights law continues to evolve. 

These Principles provide examples of how realizing rights of future generations requires attention to the distinct rights of particular groups and peoples, but does not do so comprehensively. It is important to read these principles together with other human rights standards setting out the implications of human rights for particular groups, including groups subject to historic and current systemic discrimination in its many forms. 

The Principles represent the result of a process of close to six years of research, dialogue and collective brainstorming, with the engagement of a range of academic experts, national and regional current or former human rights mandate holders, civil society organizations, members of Indigenous Peoples, and social movements. They build on historic traditions and knowledge spanning millennia. 

The Principles were adopted in Maastricht on 3 February 2023. Signatories include experts located in all regions of the world and include current and former members of international human rights treaty bodies, regional human rights bodies, and former and current Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

This initiative builds on expert legal opinions adopted in Maastricht, the Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1986); the Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1997); and the Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2011) and its accompanying commentary.

Full access to the Principles here:



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