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Daniëlla Dam-de Jong

Target 16.6 of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (sdgs) seeks to create ‘effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels’ for the purpose of achieving sustainable development. Nevertheless, the inherent vagueness of the notions of transparency and accountability poses difficulties for achieving the target. This is why this article examines how these notions have been conceptualized in international legal discourse and applied in practice. It does so within the context of the trade in natural resources that finance armed conflict, which is considered detrimental to the development opportunities of developing countries. The article examines how two of the most important initiatives in this field, namely the Kimberley Process for the Certification of Rough Diamonds and the oecd Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-affected and High-risk Areas, operationalize transparency and accountability. It posits that both initiatives fall short of establishing full accountability. However, notwithstanding their flaws and limitations, they make a valuable contribution to achieving target 16.6.

Maryna Rabinovych

The 2030 Agenda and pertinent EU law and policy are marked by an emphasis on the interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals. With this in mind, this article explores whether the Agenda and the respective EU law and policy offer a conceptually clear and instrumental vision of the interlinkages between economic development (Goal 8) and the rule of law (Goal 16). It is argued that both the Agenda and relevant EU policies view the rule of law both as an independent value and as an instrument of economic development, without distinguishing the components that rule of law is comprised of. The article discusses the Eastern dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy as a case study to contextualize the analysis. Based on its findings regarding the interlinkages between the rule of law and economic development in the 2030 Agenda and relevant EU policy, the article also sets out certain policy recommendations for creating a sustainable development-oriented design of the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Veronika Flegar and Emma Iedema

This article sheds light on the explicit identification and labelling of forced migrant women and girls as vulnerable and the effect this seems to have on their human rights protection under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (cedaw). The article focuses on the principal international body directly concerned with the human rights of women and girls, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (cedaw) and combines legal doctrinal analysis with a critical reflection in light of the normative-theoretical notion of universal vulnerability. The notion of universal vulnerability has been suggested to close protection gaps and contribute to a more inclusive human rights framework; yet, the vulnerability label has been criticized as potentially stigmatizing and paternalizing. The article therefore critically assesses whether and to what extent explicit vulnerability references by the cedaw Committee contribute to the protection and/or stigmatization of forced migrant women and girls. The analysis reveals that the vulnerability label adopted by the cedaw Committee is not (yet) entirely in line with the universal vulne-rability notion’s potential for the protection of human rights. Yet, the article suggests that vulnerability references can nevertheless contribute to human rights protection since they help to identify protection priorities and clarify state obligations towards those identified as vulnerable. This positive effect for the protection of human rights is likely to be highest the more attention is being paid to the avoidance of stigmatization.