A Rights-Based Approach
In the previous chapters on conditionality and positive support, the concepts of development and human rights remained separate; rights were a (usually small) complement to development work—either a consideration to be added when making funding decisions or a sector to be funded in addition to other, “regular” development fields. Even though the saliency of human rights had increased, the latter were still considered to be logically distinct concepts, aims, or practices—and, let’s face it, from the perspective of most development professionals, clearly secondary.
At a higher level of integration, however, a new paradigm of rightsbased development is emerging among certain agencies. At this level, development and rights become different but inseparable aspects of the same process, as if different strands of the same fabric. The boundaries between human rights and development disappear, and both become conceptually and operationally inseparable parts of the same processes of social change. At this, the highest level of integration I discuss in this book, development comes to be redefined in terms that include human rights as a constitutive part. All worthwhile processes of social change are simultaneously rights based and economically grounded, and should be conceived of in such terms. This makes intuitive sense, for at the level of human experience these dimensions are indeed inseparable (Craig Scott 1999, 635–36).
A story may illustrate the point well. A few months into the refugee crisis in Zaire that began in the summer of 1994 after the Rwandan genocide, a colleague went to Goma for an assessment of the health and nutrition situation in the camps. Upon return, he told me that nutrition intakes in the camps were high, as were vaccination rates and access to health care. As a matter of fact, he added proudly, these rates were better than