Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

Adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna on 25 June 1993




20 years of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action


20 years ago the global community unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to human rights through the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. Building on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the VDPA recognised that the promotion and protection of human rights must be a matter of the highest priority both for States and the international community.





Direct Link to Full 2013 23-Page Declaration:







Multiple gender components including on page 4:


II, Women's Human Rights

    7. The realization of women's human rights and gender equality, along with the right to live free from discrimination, lay a key foundation for the whole of human rights. Progressive legal reforms in many States, however, have not been sufficient to ensure women's enjoyment of these human rights in their daily lives, in part because of the structures and intersections of the processes of capitalism and patriarchy. Women face multiple forms of discrimination due to their complex identities. The Conference therefore insists on the integration of a substantive equality approach, requiring that both in law and practice women must be able to enjoy the full range of their human rights.


    8. Violence against women and girls, including femicide/gender related killing, must be met with zero tolerance. State must allocate maximum available resources and take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, educational and other measures to eradicate such violence, in whatever setting or times of peace, disasters or armed conflicts: Impunity must end. The intersection of gender-based discrimination, poverty, socio-economic marginalization and violence must be addressed by States, equally the links between militarism, small arms and gender-based violence. Ample attention is to be given to women and girls in all situations of vulnerability who are particularly at risk of gender-based violence. Survivors of all types of violence must have access to comprehensive medical, legal, psychological and economic support as well as access to justice.............



Vienna, 26 June 2013 – The Vienna+20 CSO Conference on June 26 has adopted a joint Declaration calling for a World Conference on Human Rights in 2018. 25 years after the Second World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 the time will have come for a Third World Conference on Human Rights with full participation of the civil society addressing issues of worldwide concern, including those raised in the Vienna+20 CSO Declaration.

More than 140 persons from various CSOs around the world gathered at Vienna on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights and its Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action issued on June 25, 1993.

The Conference discussed and adopted a forward looking declaration based on months of extensive prior consultation in various preparatory groups on the different parts. The Declaration was adopted with broad support.

TheVienna+20 CSO Declaration stresses the primacy of human rights. Respect, protection and fulfilment of all human rights are the first responsibilities of states. Despite progress made in human rights protection, vested interests, in particular corporate interests, tend to prevail, even in multilateral fora and agreements. Especially economic, social and cultural rights still lack adequate forms of legal sanctions as compared to other legal regimes such as international commercial law.

The CSO Conference also expressed deep concern over the increasing criminalization of, and assaults upon human rights defenders – including refugees and migrants – and the increasing exploitation of women in the context of global capitalism. The realization of women’s rights and gender equality, along with the right to live free from discrimination, lay a key foundation for the whole of human rights.

There are substantial gaps in human rights protection arising from the fact that, despite the universality of human rights, many States still interpret their obligations as being applicable only, or primarily, within their own borders. Without the acceptance and implementation of extraterritorial obligations, human rights cannot be universally realized, nor can they play a substantial role in the regulation of globalization. The Vienna+20 CSO Declaration demands accountability and binding regulation of transnational corporations and intergovernmental organizations and reminds States of their human rights obligations in the context of international cooperation and assistance.