The Carter Center believes greater and more sustained interaction between the election assistance community and intergovernmental human rights systems is needed to promote electoral reform initiatives, strengthen democratic elections and governance, and foster the evolution of relevant international law on elections.
To this end, the Center plans to convene a series of conferences and workshops focused on catalyzing discussion on the links between human rights and election standards. The first two-day conference was held in Atlanta in February 2015 and co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović. Participants from international human rights mechanisms, including the U.N. Human Rights Committee, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and others, as well as from election assistance organizations and from international and citizen observer groups around the world, came together to discuss how the communities can collaborate more closely to further their common goal of advancing genuine democratic elections in which key human rights are fulfilled.
This inaugural meeting of leading human rights and elections experts resulted in the identification of several areas for future engagement, including more outreach to states regarding electoral obligations under public international law, increased coordination in the field between election experts and long-term human rights monitors, mapping exercises to help the elections community better access human rights mechanisms, and others. These steps will help ensure that election observers and assistance practitioners continue to use a human rights-based approach to their work and that electoral issues are regularly considered by the international human rights system.
Click here to visit the Human Rights and Election Standards page.