Academic journal article Law, Social Justice and Global Development Journal

'New' Global Development Cooperation Modalities and the Rights of the Orphaned Child

Academic journal article Law, Social Justice and Global Development Journal

'New' Global Development Cooperation Modalities and the Rights of the Orphaned Child

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

There has been growing hope that 'new' development cooperation modalities will result in increased solution of well-being related problems in the countries that are not economically developed (DfID 2004). There are three dominant 'new' modalities, in this regard. The first is direct budget support, where development cooperation is either generally or specially directed towards the implementation of recipient country budgets. DfID is among leading donor agencies that has adopted and is promoting this approach (DfID 2004). The second, known as Sector Wide Approaches or SWAps, aim at directing development cooperation for definite sectors as opposed to projects. The third, known as basket funding, aims at pooling resources into a fund type resource for use in development sector or programmatic themes.

This article uses the rights of orphaned children and examines whether such a hope is worthwhile. Like all children, orphaned children are vulnerable. The vulnerability of orphaned children is exacerbated by loss of parents, economic deprivation, discrimination, and mental trauma. Cursory reference to globalized human rights and development cooperation discourses might indicate that the orphaned child matters. The Convention on the Rights of the Child encompasses the orphaned child. Articles 1 and 2 of the Convention require that every child must enjoy the rights stipulated in it. Article 20 recognizes rights for the child who has permanently or temporarily been deprived of her or his family environment. Such children, which include those orphaned, according to Articles 20 and 25 are entitled to special assistance from the state, alternative care, and periodic review if alternatively placed.

To realise such requirements, international law has, among other measures, at least since Article 55 of the U.N. Charter, insisted on cooperation between states. The increasing dominance of a "trade-related" or "market-friendly" discourse of human rights (Baxi 2002) is not centred on the enjoyment of human rights by orphaned children. In such a context, the feasibility of modalities for development cooperation need to be interrogated and judged according to the degree to which they contribute to the dignified life of vulnerable people, such as the orphaned child.

This paper is in four parts, of which this introduction is the first. The second part notes the trends of orphanhood and increasing levels of development modalities. The third part examines the response of human rights and development cooperation discourses to debilitating orphanhood and notes that the dominant modalities for development cooperation are neither new nor legal nor responsive to the realisation of the rights of the orphanhood. The last part is the conclusion. It calls for a discourse of development cooperation based on practical realisation of human rights and correlative duties at all societal levels. A real test for any development cooperation modality, the conclusion underlines, is to make maximum contribution to the dignified life of the orphaned child.

2. Human Rights, Development Cooperation, and Orphanhood

Human rights and development cooperation converge on at least one broad expressed human aspiration: progressive dignified life. The preambles of global human rights instruments underline such aspirations as survival, development, peace, dignity, participation, protection, freedom, progress, equality, justice, and respect. These are human aspirations for everyone. The quality of enjoyment of these life goals is never closed. However, enjoyment of life goals such as these is supposed to be progressive. This is because the goals are based on human needs, which are dynamic.

Dignified life signifies what every person must enjoy and how such a person should be treated. To these ends, the what and how of life, are dynamic, responding to changed conditions, aspirations, relations, and obstacles. …

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