Thematic studies undertaken by the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development

In order to fulfil its mandate of searching for, identifying and sharing best practices with Member States and to promote the implementation of the right to development worldwide, the Expert Mechanism undertakes thematic studies. Each member of the Mechanism is responsible for a study on a theme proposed by him/her and agreed by the Expert Mechanism. In preparation of the study, members can consult States and a wide range of other relevant stakeholders and/or undertake country study visits. The Expert Mechanism discusses the draft studies presented by the concerned member and approves them for submission to the Human Rights Council for its consideration.

On-going thematic studies:






Operationalizing the right to development in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


Mihir Kanade (India)

The study will seek to provide detailed guidance to States and other stakeholders on how the right to development can be mainstreamed and operationalized in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure course correction. It will focus on the means of implementation through the normative lens of the duty of international cooperation to eliminate obstacles to sustainable development and to make advances therein.


Racism, racial discrimination and the right to development


Bonny Ibhawoh (Nigeria)

The study will examine how racism and racial prejudice had shaped the debates about the right to development, including the persistent opposition to legally binding obligations, and systemic and institutional racism as obstacles to fulfilling provisions regarding non-discrimination, equality of opportunity and fair distribution with respect to the right to development at both the national and the international levels.


Inequalities and the right to development

Armando Antonio De Negri Filho (Brazil)

The study will discuss inequality within and between countries, taking the right to development as a starting point. It will focus on the political economy of development (mostly the production, distribution and redistribution of wealth) and will explore capacities to enhance universal and comprehensive social protection systems. The study will connect economy to social life and will analyze the effect of debts and unilateral sanctions on the right to development and on social and economic protection systems.


The right to development in international investment law

Klentiana Mahmutaj (Albania)

The study will explore the current and potential relevance of the right to development in international investment law, including its use as a justification for conduct by a State, negating its liability to a foreign investor. It will consider whether the Declaration on the Right to Development provides an adequate basis for invoking this right in international investment law disputes, and will assess whether new bilateral investment treaties should expressly refer to host States’ human rights obligations, to the right to development or to the Declaration. See call for inputs.


Non-State actors and the duty to cooperate (field study)

Koen De Feyter (Belgium)

The study will focus on the duty to cooperate in overcoming obstacles to the implementation of the right to development on the ground. It will consider the duty to cooperate as a broader partnership with non-State actors, and will include an on-site investigation of a situation involving: a local community whose enjoyment of rights had been affected not only by the State, but also by external actors; a private non-State actor (a foreign company or non-governmental organization); an intergovernmental organization, and the home State of the non-State actor. See call for inputs.

Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development
Thematic studies
Sessions of the Expert Mechanism
Others involved
Contact information

EMRTD, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10