The Correlation of human rights and development.


The world we live in has gone through significant changes throughout the last century, which extends their importance beyond economic sphere. The concepts of human rights have evolved in a greater way owing to the developments made by efforts of the United Nations and the states. The matter of sorrow is that though the concept of human rights has evolved, the word as a whole is yet to enjoy the fruit of it. The world is affected by remarkable deprivation, destitution and oppression. New problems are popping up every day; some of the older problems also add misery to the global community.

Among these problems are food security, environment, and sustainability of our economic and social lives. To overcome these problems the centre role is to be played by ‘Development’. This process is ultimately the answer to addressing these deprivations. It cannot be denied that there are some basic intersections between development and human rights. These intersections are the main focus of this research. 1.1

SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS: This research is based on articles, books and documents found from internet and from library. This is a desktop cantered work, as no field work has been done. The research focuses on the intersection between human rights and development.


In this monograph the following questions are of importance: 1. What are the intersecting points between human rights and development? 2. What is the importance of the explicit recognition of these intersecting points?


First Chapter is the introductory chapter Second Chapter defines and explains Human Rights, Development and their Interrelations. Third Chapter- Sixth chapter discuss the Intersecting points between Human Rights and Development. It discusses about the five intersecting points i.e. human rights and development are founded on human dignity; human person is the central subject of both human rights and development; human person should be the principal beneficiary and active participant for the realization of both human rights and development; right to development is also a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of fundamental human rights; both have the common objective of human development. Seventh Chapter discusses about the present situations of the human rights and development and interrelations in Bangladesh. Eighth Chapter is the concluding chapter of the thesis. 2.0


Human right is one of the most important developments of human being. This is definitely not an exhaustive definition because people’s understanding of human rights is a process of evolution. Rights are related to the values that societies live by. These values have their origins in the world’s great religions and philosophies. Value systems can vary in detail between and society and another but the fundamental ideas are very similar. Concepts of justice and human dignity are at the hearth of these values. These are, therefore, those rights that are inherent in human person and without which they cannot live as human beings.


These freedoms are both the primary ends and the principal means of development. Debates, discussions and consensus have been going on for more than two decades regarding the relationship between Human Rights and Development. Without protecting the Human Rights, the Development Process cannot succeed.

The Correlation of human rights and development

Some of these models proved to be successful at the inception. But after implementing these models, most of them failed to ensure the idea of human development. But the integration of human rights into the development process has proved to be more successful than the previous models. This approach is well known as the Right Based Approach to Development. These intersections are the core concept of this research paper and analysed later.


From the first UN World Conference on Human Rights, held in Teheran in 1968, the relationship between human rights and development has occupied a prominent place in the international discourse of rights.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights . Living with dignity and without fear are basic human needs. It includes adequate decent food, water and health, freedom from slavery, fair treatment under the law, a shelter, etc. These basic human needs and values are at the foundation of universal ideas of human rights.



Here development comes into act. The main object of development is to create an environment in which people can expand and enjoy their freedoms and live a healthy and creative life. These freedoms are both the primary ends and the principal means of development of The Correlation of human rights and development.

They include freedom to participate in the economy, which implies access to credit, among other facilities; freedom of political expression and participation; social opportunities, including entitlement to education and health services; transparency guarantees, involving freedom to deal with others openly; and protective security guaranteed by social safety nets, such as unemployment insurance or famine relief. Humans are the real wealth of a nation . neither can exist without its citizens. For instance, economic development is a means to improve the social, cultural and political instruments of the society.

Again, the sole purpose of human rights is to ensure the respect for human dignity. The human rights that are under review in today’s world in most of the cases uphold human dignity expressly; if it is not the case then such right loses its acceptability in the society.


It leaves no room to doubt that the human beings are the one and only concern of both Development and Human Development as far as international instruments are in action. Human wellbeing is the ultimate end of all development and the human rights are the preconditions of human wellbeing. Development without human wellbeing is meaningless. This view is evident by the recent development experience as pointed out by the human development report.

Economic growth is essential for human development. The attainment of human rights requires the support of economic development while economic and social development provides the basis for the general attainment of human rights. Only by means of development can we fully achieve the rights to decent living standards, social security and education.  Development depends also on other determinants, such as social and economic arrangements such as facilities for education and health care as well as political and civil rights.

Wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking, for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. But development will not bring about the attainment of human rights automatically.

Only by defining human rights as the fundamental goal of development can it become a process of realizing human rights. So the development actors were looking for such a model which could integrate the human rights in its development policies. Development’s main focus should be the improvements of people’s lives. People must be at the center of human development. Development has to be woven around people, not people around development.

Development for the People- development must satisfy everyone’s needs, and provide opportunities for all. Only then will it be truly human-oriented. This would also include providing essential social safety nets. Thus, it is that development increases people’s choices-with two caveats. First, enhancing the choices of one individual, or one section of society, should not restrict the policies of another.

Thus calls for equity in human relationships. Second, improving the lives of the present generation should not mortgage the choices for future generations that the development process must be sustainable.

On the other hand, Participation is a right of the people. It is not optional gift to be bestowed to citizens by governments. Neither do governments have the prerogative to determine the purpose, form and extent of participation without reference to those concerned. Participation requires the right of self–determination which implies that the people have the right to determine their path of development. For this, they need other human rights, above all the rights to education and to information. Therefore, Participation in a human rights approach includes control of planning, process, outcome and evaluation. In this perspective, participation respects the fundamental human rights tenet that people are the subjects, the active players, who determine and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Participation in this sense demands democracy and strong civil society and conversely strengthens civil society and democracy. At present, the economic system of the world espoused by the multilateral lending corporations has limited the policy choices of the developing cou8ntry governments. These governments have to obey the fiscal imperatives in order to receive aid packages. These issues are limiting the public participations, leading to the violation of human right.

The UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development in 1986.

The declaration defines development as a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process, which aims at the constant improvement of the well–being of the entire population and of all individuals on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of benefits resulting from it.

The definition emphasizes the importance of participation. The participation of all individuals in development must be active, free and meaningful. Women must have an active role in the development process. Education should enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society. Thus both human rights and development have a common beneficiary, participant and both orbits around a same subject i.e. Human being. 5.0


According to this view, the first generation consisted of civil and political rights conceived as freedom from state abuse.

Though the definition of Right to Development is clear enough in this Article but for the time being and keeping in mind other international instruments of the like it is necessary to provide a vivid clarification on what the Right to Development actually stands for. As an answer to the Right to Developments true nature it can be said that – “…about the nature of the right to development.

States tend to express rhetorical support for this right but neglect its basic precepts in development practice. Paradoxically, the United States opposes or is reluctant to recognize development as an international human right, and yet the current administration has proposed to nearly double its development spending under a program that is strikingly similar to the international Right to Development model. Now a fair enough question arises that, why has it been so hard to secure a consensus on this subject so far?

Are the differences due to some misunderstandings in interpretations of these texts, or are they due to some deeper conflict between the political and economic groups affected by the process?

It emerged from the legitimate preoccupation of newly independent countries with problems of development and the dominance of East-West issues on the agenda of the Commission on Human Rights, marginalizing the concerns of the political South, except for racial discrimination, apartheid, and foreign occupation, which did receive special consideration. Efforts to use the U.N. to advance the idea of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) had emboldened Third World delegations. “But the challenge to the prevailing order favoring Western industrialized countries generated a reaction that ranged from cautious support among Western European delegations to outright hostility for the idea of a human Right to Development from the United States and a few others.

This group, particularly the European Union, sometimes expresses skepticism and occasionally sees its role in the Commission as damage-limitation.

They will go along with a resolution if nothing particularly objectionable is inserted or will abstain. The other group, in which the United States is almost always the key protagonist, votes against these resolutions. The other members of this group vary according to circumstances and have included Japan, Denmark, and Australia, along with smaller countries under the influence of the United States. However, a breakthrough occurred on April 22, 1998, when the U.N. Commission on Human Rights adopted by consensus a resolution on the Right to Development recommending to the Economic and Social Council the establishment of a follow up mechanism consisting of an open-ended working group (OEWG) and an Independent Expert.

The purpose of the working group was to monitor and review the progress of the Independent Expert and report back to the Commission. The Independent Expert was to “present to the working group at each of its sessions a study on the current state of progress in the implementation of the right to development as a basis for a focused discussion, taking into account, inter alia, the deliberations and suggestions of the working group. Dr. Arjun Sengupta, a prominent Indian economist, was appointed Independent Expert and by 2004 had produced eight reports, while the OEWG had held five sessions.

He suggests the following four main propositions of the Declaration on the Right To Development:

(A) The right to development is a human right. (B) The human right to development is right to a particular process of development in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realize, which means that it combines all the rights enshrined in both the covenants and each of the rights has to be exercised with freedom. (C) The meaning of exercising these rights consistently with freedom implies free, effective, and full participation of all the individuals concerned in the decision making and the implementation of the process. (D) The right confers unequivocal obligation on duty holders i.e. individual in the society, states in the national and international level.

The Correlation of human rights and development, A considerable body of commentary has appeared in support of the Declaration, mainly in legal and human rights publications, including those by the Independent Experts, but critical and skeptical views have also emerged in legal and political writings. Therefore it can be mentioned that though Right to Development is also an inalienable and universal Human Rights, but they, in their full form, do not exist in reality. They have been made petrified only in texts. 6.0


Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices. The most important among these choices are to live a long and healthy life, to be educated and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living life. Other choices include political freedom, guaranteed human rights and personal self-respect. From 1990 to 2011, the HDRs applied the concept of human development to identify and advocate policies. Basically, it’s a process of enlarging people’s choices.

Human needs are limitless, but human development means when, in addition to already expressed rights, people get political freedom, guaranteed human rights and personal self-respect.It is about building human capabilities—the range of things that people can do, and what they can be.

In human development, mere Right to food transforms into right to nutritious meals, mere right to shelter becomes right to a decent house and right to education converts into right to higher education. Thus, Human development has two sides: the formation of human capabilities such as improved health, knowledge and skills – and the use people make of their acquired capabilities – for leisure, productive purposes or being active in cultural, social and political affairs.

If the scales of human development do not finely balance the two sides, considerable human frustration may result.

These choices which ensure human development can be found in UDHR, ECE and ESE rights. These are common standards of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, and they shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.

The mother of all International Human Rights Documents, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, from which two more instruments e. g. “The International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights” and “The International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” have generated, basically focus on these limited versions of human development. For example, the latter mentioned documents talk about basic freedom of speech, education, shelter, food etc through which they tend to achieve Human Development.

But through the time being concepts have changed and now human development means something larger. An important achievement in establishing the relationship between human rights and development were the so-called ‘Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs). At the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders agreed upon a set of time-bound and measurable goals and targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women. The goals provide a framework for development co-operation institutions to work coherently together towards a common end. Close co-operation is imperative as a large majority of nations can only reach the MDGs with substantial support from outside.

Development processes – traditionally technical and economically orientated – are becoming increasingly focused on enjoyment of rights and promotion of values. In this way, human development and human rights then share a common motivation i.e. expansion of human freedom.


But unfortunately, the polity is yet to overcome the barriers to human rights and development.

Now this Research Monograph will enlarge these abovementioned five reasons:


The Correlation of human rights and development Other popular programs include education, health, family planning, environment, human rights, women and children welfare, etc. However, the key problems can be summarized as below: • Ineffective Governing Body • Discretion of the Executive Head in decision making process • Lack of Transparency in Finance • Institutional Anomalies • Procurement-Related Anomalies • Usurping Employees’ Salary • Corruption in Recruitment & Promotion These are the common problems which restrain human rights and development related NGO’s operating in Bangladesh. 7.2


From time to time, whenever a Government has come as the executive body, they focus on the Capital city only. De-centralization of development is thus a total failure in Bangladesh. 7.3


But there should not be any division among human rights.


The Correlation of human rights and development And thus nepotism throws away the respect to human rights and development. 7.5


The National human Rights Commission has been playing a silent role until recently. But still, no effective result has come out, no extra-judicial killing or killing of Bangladeshi people in the No Man’s Land has stopped.


On the other hand the ultimate object of development surrounds around human. Some of the countries tried to ensure this topic separately, but for the developing countries, this often proves to be a hurdle, because in order to achieve development, human rights being silent. Bangladesh has proved to be a burning example in this regard. But the search must carry on until the world we live in, is free from deprivation.

The Correlation of human rights and development