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12 - The right to development, poverty and related rights

Ilias Bantekas
Affiliation:
Brunel University
Lutz Oette
Affiliation:
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
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Summary

Introduction

Like self-determination and indigenous rights, the right to development is a collective entitlement. Yet, unlike its other counterparts, it was misunderstood for a long time because its very existence was erroneously associated solely with foreign aid and charity and it was not viewed through the lens of programmatic positive and negative obligations of the ailing states. As will be evident through the course of this chapter, development in its human rights context is primarily a value that translates into individual and communal well-being. This well-being may be linked to industrial or other financial development, although the correlation between the two is neither self-evident nor necessary. If this right to well-being is to make a difference in the lives of people, whether in poor or rich nations, it must be susceptible to quantifiable measurement with which one is able to assess its progress and realisation. In the last decade experts have come up with a list of detailed indicators which allow us to assess well-being more accurately. At the same time, wealthy nations have abandoned ad hoc unilateral efforts to assist their poorer neighbours to escape perpetual cycles of poverty by entering into institutionalised multilateral commitments to provide part of their annual earnings to developmental goals. These goals are also vigorously pursued by multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank. None the less, throughout this chapter the reader will come across a recurrent conflict between developmental goals aimed at augmenting the finances of poor nations, absent, however, a human rights approach to development based on the Bill of Rights.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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