Rights-based approaches

Human rights and governance provisions in OECD country trade agreements with developing countries

Trade agreements increasingly feature governance and human rights provisions. Countries taking the lead in this are the United States and Canada (the EU was not covered in this review). However, they tend to be selective in their provisions, focusing in particular on labour rights, transparency and anti-corruption, as well as public participation and intellectual property ...» more

Southern philanthropy, social justice and human rights

Fabiana Leibl and Ine Van Severen

This discussion paper addresses the question of how philanthropists in the global south could better support the activities of civil society organisations (CSOs) to promote human rights and social justice, including actions that focus on advocacy, accountability and mobilisation. The paper is informed by interviews conducted with 12 representatives of philanthropic foundations ...» more

Human rights

Human rights emerged as a new field in international development in the 1990s. By 1997, the UN Secretary-General had called on all UN development agencies to mainstream human rights (1997), while development donors and NGOs increasingly committed themselves to a human rights approach. Diverse factors explain this seeming breakthrough of human rights. First, a growing…» more

Realising the right to a basic education in South Africa

Shaun Franklin & Daniel McLaren

Is South Africa meeting its constitutional and other legal obligations in making quality basic education accessible to all? This report finds that while progress has been made on access to basic education, quality and adequacy remain key issues that the government needs to address. This paper aims to guide the government in how to better fulfil these obligations and to provide ...» more

Social development and human development

This Topic Guide aims to answer the question ‘What is the interaction between social development issues and human development outcomes?’ An individual’s right to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living cannot be realised without addressing social development issues. This is because these issues determine individuals’ access to ...» more

Human rights

This topic guide provides an introduction to the interactions and links between human rights and international development. Human rights are increasingly visible in international development language, policies and programmes. Human rights, and the principles they are based on, are argued to improve the effectiveness of development programmes. But beyond that, a human rights ...» more

Human Rights-Based Approaches to Development: Concepts, Evidence, and Policy

Varun Gauri, Siri Gloppen

This paper assesses the benefits, risks, and limitations of human rights based approaches (HBRAs) to development, which can be catalogued on the basis of the institutional mechanisms they rely on: global compliance based on international and regional treaties; the policies and programming of donors and executive agencies; rights talk; and legal mobilisation. The paper briefly ...» more

Informal Justice Systems: Charting a Course for Human Rights-Based Engagement

Danish Institute for Human Rights

This major study seeks to identify how engagement with informal justice systems can build greater respect and protection for human rights. The study also examines the value of informal justice systems in offering, in certain contexts, flexible structures and processes, cost-effectiveness and outreach to grassroots communities. It considers the weaknesses and strengths of ...» more

Social Security and the Socio-Economic Floor: Towards a Human Rights-based Approach

Wouter van Ginneken

Globalisation triggers the need for frequent adjustment to national production processes, jobs and life strategies, and there are vast gaps in income and security between countries. The International Labour Organisation suggests that establishing a global socio-economic floor would improve international development and security. This article investigates the impact of taking a ...» more

Undertaking a Human Rights-Based Approach: A Guide for Basic Programming

Gabrielle Berman

What are the principles behind human rights based approaches (HRBA) to development cooperation? What lessons have been learned from HRBA internationally? This chapter provides guidelines on undertaking HRBA based on experiences from Afghanistan, Fiji, Lao, Mongolia, Thailand, Tonga, and Vietnam. There are two implementation approaches to HRBA: the cyclical Seven Step Approach ...» more

Transitional Justice and Peace Building: Diagnosing and Addressing the Socioeconomic Roots of Violence through a Human Rights Framework

Lisa J. Laplante

How can transitional justice mechanisms – in particular, truth commissions (TCs) – better accommodate socio-economic issues in order to respond to new cycles of violence in post-conflict settings? On the basis of comparative country experiences, this article from the International Journal of Transitional Justice argues that TCs should expand their mandates to incorporate a ...» more

Applying a Rights-based Approach: An Inspirational Guide for Civil Society

Jakob Kirkemann Boesen, Tomas Martin

With its focus on law and the root causes of poverty, the rights-based approach (RBA) releases a new transformative potential for development. This guide provides practical methods for the integration of the RBA into programmes implemented by smaller civil society organisations (CSOs) in poor countries. While it is not a panacea, the RBA has the potential to bring people whose ...» more

Rights-based Development: Linking Rights and Participation – Challenges in Thinking and Action

V Miller et al

The growing interest in pursuing rights-based approaches to development raises questions about how these two broad traditions – human rights and development – can best work together in practice. This article from a joint 7-country action research initiative carried out by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and Just Associates, outlines the challenges and opportunities ...» more

Rights-Based Development: The Challenge of Change and Power

J Chapman

What are the implications of integrating rights into development work? This paper from the Global Poverty Research Group (GPRG) draws on case study material from ActionAid International (AAI) to explore the benefits and challenges of a rights-based approach for strengthening the voice and power of marginalised sectors of society.Rights-based development is often equated ...» more

Developing a Human Rights-Based Approach to Addressing Maternal Mortality

K Hawkins, K Newman

Can a rights-based approach reduce maternal mortality? Can its focus on equity improve health outcomes for poor women? This review, by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), argues that rights-based approaches can add impetus to reducing maternal mortality. It argues that policy actors in government and civil society should find ways of addressing the economic, ...» more

Governance Hybrids: Pro-Poor, Rights-based Approaches in Rural Peru

A Schneider, R Zuniga-Hamlin

How do we understand the hybrid forms of governance that occasionally emerge when rights-based approaches (RBAs) are introduced into contexts of extreme poverty? This paper from the Institute of Development Studies looks at the impact of RBAs on poverty in rural Peru. It argues that to be a useful theoretical framework, RBAs should incorporate intermediate categories, mixing ...» more

A Rights-Based Approach to Development

P Uvin

How can the rights-based approach (RBA) change how development is 'done', and help practitioners do things better on the ground? RBAs have often been seen as primarily rhetorical and as offering little in hard content. This chapter from 'Human Rights and Development' outlines what the RBA means in practice, and how this differs from current practice. It argues that human ...» more

Rights-Based Approaches to Social Protection

L-H Piron

What can rights based approaches (RBAs) offer to social protection agendas? This paper from the Overseas Development Institute is part of a project commissioned by DFID to assist the development of an institutional policy and approach to social protection programming. It explores the relationship between human rights standards, principles and programming and policies and ...» more

Integrating Human Rights and Poverty Reduction: Towards a Human Rights-Based Approach for SDC

Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC)

How can the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC) incorporate human rights more systematically into its development programmes? This research, by SDC, sets out current thinking on integrating human rights into development with a view to taking its human rights work forward. It affirms that democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental ...» more

Rights-based Approaches and Bilateral Aid Agencies: More than a Metaphor?

L-H Piron

Are human rights-based approaches to development merely a 'metaphor', or is a consensus emerging among bilateral donors around the relevance of human rights for aid? This article, based on research by the Overseas Development Institute, illustrates emerging commonalities among bilateral aid agencies. However, donors need to make greater efforts to internalise human rights and ...» more