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Human Rights and Development from an International, Dutch and Personal Perspective

Otto Spijkers

Utrecht University School of Law

October 1, 2008

This article is about a rights-based approach to development. First, we will look at some of the relevant international law. Then, we will look at the interpretation of that law by the international community. Does the international community recognize a right to development, and what rights and duties flow from it? In answering that last question, we will focus on international duties, rather than duties owed by the state to its own citizens. We will look at the duty of the international community and its members to promote and protect the right to development, and not to violate that right. We will then zoom in on one particular member of the international community, the Netherlands, and see how that state has implemented a rights-based approach to international development cooperation, and what practical consequences such an approach entails. Finally, we will return to the foundation of human rights, and see how the right to development, which is often called a ‘third-generation’ right, respects the legacy of its ‘ancestors.’ Much of the criticism on the right to development is based on the idea that this right to development has stretched the concept of human rights to breaking point; it is thus important to assess that argument. After having looked briefly into the past, we will end by looking into the future, and then conclude.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

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Date posted: March 8, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Spijkers, Otto, Human Rights and Development from an International, Dutch and Personal Perspective (October 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1565481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1565481

Contact Information

Otto Spijkers (Contact Author)
Utrecht University School of Law ( email )
3508 TC Utrecht
HOME PAGE: http://www.uu.nl/leg/staff/OSpijkers/
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