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The role of human rights-based approaches in development

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The role of human rights-based approaches in development

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Samenvatting

Development cooperation has a long history, but in the last decade a considerable change has become visible: many organisations are shifting from traditional service delivery to the poor to a new approach that includes more people in life changing processes and makes them a part of that change themselves. One method that is being used to achieve this is the human rights-based approach to development. This report explores the role of this approach in development today and compares the current state of affairs to the situation as it was nearly a decade ago. The central question of this paper is:
How do human rights-based approaches play a role in policy and practice of international development organisations?
The methodology used to create this report is desk research. The first theoretical part of this paper is mainly based on books on the topic of human rights, while the second part that consists of case studies on international organisations has as its main source scientific journals and policy documents.
There is no consensus in the development sector on a definition of a human rightsbased approach; every organisation has its own interpretations. The general concept comes down to a conceptual framework for human development based on human rights standards, which empowers people to claim their rights and fulfil their
responsibilities (CARE, 2001). The case studies in particular explore what position rights-based approaches currently hold within certain organisations, such as UN agencies, NGOs and the EU. It turns out that at this time there is no organisation that has the concept fully developed. At the organisational level the main aspects needed
for a successful implementation of a rights-based approach are a workable definition, concrete tools and documents as guidelines and proper education and promotion on the topic among staff. Yet there is no organisation that has all this established. In practice one of the major problems is that the target groups often have little knowledge about their rights, which makes it difficult to implement a rights-based approach in reality.
In conclusion it can be said that human rights-based approach play a considerable role in development policies and projects, and their role is still growing. The main recommendation for the future lies in education: within organisations staff members need to be educated more about the theory and practice of the approach, and target
groups need to be educated about the rights they can claim to improve their lives.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2011
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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