The world has discovered rights. Or has it? NGOs, official agencies and academics are enthusing about the rights based approach to development. The rights approach cannot be criticised. There is so much interest in rights based approaches that we are dedicating this issue of ontrac to some aspects of the debate. What is of concern is the unquestioning attitude of much of the literature, ‘loose talk’ in agencies and the apparent lack of rigour. It should be incumbent upon us all to put the rights based approach through the normal review that we would expect of any development approach. The unquestioning acceptance of concepts such as the rights based approach does little to allow us to develop genuine participatory development, unless we are clear what we mean.
In this special issue on rights and development: Brian Pratt explores the absence of critical analysis within the ‘rights’ debate, John Beauclerk gives an insight into the implications of adopting rights approaches and Jerry Adams explains current moves towards including rights discourse in monitoring and evaluation. Rob Williams explores the experiences of Concern Worldwide’s engagement with rights and development in Cambodia, Barbara Brubacher analyses the importance of development-centred rights in Palestine and Octavio de la Varga Mas explains Oxfam International’s interpretation of rights within development. Finally Ele Fisher and Alberto Acre examine the ramifications of rights issues for the Mapuche in Chile.
ONTRAC 23. Rights or Values?
ONTRAC 23. Rights or Values? French
ONTRAC 23. Rights or Values? Chinese