Rights and Development: The Incorporation of a Rights-based Approach as a Development Strategy at the International Context and in Latin America
Santacruz, Maria Argentina
Since the nineties, the enthusiasm for a "rights-based approach" as a development strategy has not only been promoted by human rights experts, but also developmental experts. This approach has become an important factor in international development policy, legitimate and adopted by bilateral development agencies, UN agencies, and leading non-governmental organizations working in development. This research assesses the rise of the rights-based approach and its inclusion in international context and in Latin America since the nineties and analyse what do international agencies say about a rights-based approach to development. It can be said that the focus on the "rights based approach" as a development strategy first surfaced in the decade of the nineties; in the first years of the post cold war era to be exact. The principles, by which this approach is defined however, are not new, but rather correspond to historical struggles to define human rights and social struggles as such before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The rights-based approach is a conceptual framework with potentially radical and powerful implications for the development practice. If we want to categorize the speech by the agencies systemized, the only affirmation we can obtain is that each organization defines their focus on rights in a different way, even though a lot of them share the same elements. These agencies do differ however, in the emphasis that each one places in a particular element of the focus. A number of agencies are implementing it, but without a consensus as to what the significance and implications of this focus is, it makes it difficult to recognize if this focus really constitutes an innovative one which benefits development. At the speech level this is already a distinct focus, but at the practical level, one must analyze things further and with care.
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