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Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2016

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Edited By Centro di Ateneo per i Diritti Umani

The Italian Yearbook of Human Rights 2016 provides a dynamic and up-to-date overview of the measures Italy has taken to adapt its legislation and policies to international human rights law and to comply with commitments voluntarily assumed by the Italian Government at the international level.

The 2016 Yearbook surveys the activities of the relevant national and local Italian actors, including governmental bodies, civil society organisations and universities. It also presents reports and recommendations that have been addressed to Italy in 2015 by international monitoring bodies within the framework of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union. Finally, the Yearbook provides a selection of international and national case-law that casts light on Italy's position vis-à-vis internationally recognised human rights.

"Italy and Human Rights in 2015: Universal Ethics, Good Governance and Political Realism" is the focus of the introductory section of the Yearbook. Starting with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights law plunged onto the world stage with very specific principles and rules, which represent so many points that are essential not only for the legality but also for the sustainability of the political agenda. The universal code of human rights, widely ratified by Italy, presses for a continuous commitment to perfecting the legal order, which has immediate significance for the good governance agenda.

The Italian Agenda of Human Rights 2016 represents an updated orientation tool with regards the main initiatives to be undertaken on the legislative, infrastructural and policy-making fronts in order to strengthen the Italian system for promoting and protecting human rights.

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Sub-national Human Rights Structures

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I. Peace Human Rights Offices in Municipalities, Provinces and Regions

At the sub-national level, especially by virtue of the inclusion of the “peace human rights norm” in thousands of Municipal, Provincial and Regional Statutes, and of the adoption of dedicated regional laws on this topic (see Part I, Italian Law, III), Italy has a number of consultancies, offices, departments, bureaux and centres for human rights, peace, equal opportunity, development cooperation, fair trade and international solidarity. Statistical data on the spread of these structures were given in the 2011 Yearbook (pp. 133-134), and specific examples were presented in the ensuing editions.

In 2015 the number of Italian local government bodies supporting the campaign for the human right to peace continued to grow. Since 2012, in fact, several hundred Municipalities, alongside some Provinces and Regions, have been at the centre of an important initiative of “city diplomacy” promoting the recognition of the human right to peace by adopting a petitionary motion showing their support for the United Nations Human Rights Council’s initiative aiming to draft the text for a Declaration on this human right (see 2015 Yearbook, p. 110, for the various city diplomacy initiatives carried out by Italian local government bodies as part of this campaign). Despite a serious setback in April of 2015, when a rift between members of the Inter-governmental Working Group of the Human Rights Council working on a draft of this Declaration held back decisions on the document under discussion in...

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