Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware)
Human Rights Reader 26
Beware: The fashion is out. Everybody wants to jump onto the bandwagon of Human Rights.
It is coming to our attention that to be ‘up to the times’ a number of donors and NGOs are telling us that their programs have incorporated participatory approaches to their development, health and nutrition programs. They see those being an “essential” part of Human Rights, because they build activities around the express needs of the beneficiaries.
But this is NOT what the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) is about!
Such programs must be retooled to adopt the full Human Rights paradigm to deserve being called such, i.e. the goal of them should be achieved through interventions founded in international Human Rights law that will provide the legal basis for interventions that will ultimately underscore the host governments’ fault at fulfilling its obligations to redress the violation of Human Rights of its citizens.
To bring about a reversion of the violations requires changing/adapting ongoing programs’ objectives to the Human Rights framework (the difference is one between just delivering the usual services, and making it clear to beneficiaries that they are legally entitled to specific services and can go somewhere to complain if they do not receive what is due them; people need to know what commitments have been made to them).