human rights

Do you have to be cold to be cool? Canada joins the Nordics as a world leader on rights.

Duncan Green - November 21, 2017

I was in Canada last week, having a lot of fun on a speaking tour with Oxfam Canada, followed by a couple of days with Oxfam Quebec in Montreal. One of the striking impressions is how much Canada’s foreign policy rhetoric echoes that of the Nordics in its focus on rights (an even more striking impression was that minus 20 degrees centigrade is really not …

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How are different governments performing as global citizens? Time for a new index!

Duncan Green - February 23, 2017

Apologies. I get given stuff at meetings, it goes into the reading pile, and often takes months to resurface. So I have just read (and liked) a Country Global Citizenship Report Card handed to me in New York in December. It’s put together by the Global Citizens Initiative, run by Ron Israel. Time to assuage my guilt. The ‘citizens’ in question are actually 53 governments, …

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Four Years On, The World Has Changed on Disability

Duncan Green - December 3, 2015

Tim Wainwright, CEO of ADD International (& also chair of BOND), finds much to celebrate today Four years ago I wrote a blog, expressing my concern about how I felt that mainstream development was largely overlooking a large and highly excluded group: persons with disabilities. [Quick note on terminology: we use the term ‘persons with disabilities’ to reflect the UNCRPD terminology, but we recognise that disability …

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Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up

Duncan Green - January 9, 2015

Hannah Stoddart, on secondment as Oxfam’s advocacy manager in Rwanda, calls for aid agencies to take a stand in defence of beleaguered gay rights in Africa (and I ask you to vote on her suggestion) First Gambia, then Chad. Recent months have seen two more countries join the rising tide of State-led homophobia sweeping across the African continent. A bill recently passed in Gambia now …

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What next for human rights organizations like Amnesty?

Duncan Green - November 11, 2014

Autumn/fall must be the blue skying season. I ended last week having my remaining brain cells picked in exchange for yet another free meal by Amnesty International’s Savio Carvalho (campaigns and advocacy) and Clare Doube (evaluation and strategy). Going to have to watch my waistline. They are thinking through Amnesty’s global strategy for 2016-2019, and as with many INGOs, want to move away from a …

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What are the strengths and weaknesses of a human rights approach to development?

Duncan Green - September 5, 2014
health

Confession time, with a dash of heresy. I have mixed feelings (and a fair amount of confusion) about the whole ‘rights based approach’ to development. First, it has a lot going for it. The human rights framework is: precise: it sets out clearly who has obligations and duties and who has not, and what those obligations and duties are. practical: it provides states with a …

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What can Islam teach secular NGOs about conflict resolution? (and human development, climate change, gender rights…..)

Duncan Green - July 22, 2014

Lucy Moore, a policy adviser at Islamic Relief Worldwide came to talk to Oxfam staff last week. We used the ‘in conversation’ format, along the lines of my recent chat with Jamie Love, which seems to work better than the standard powerpoint + Q&A. Islamic Relief has some really interesting publications on Islamic approaches to human development, gender and development, and in Lucy’s case, ‘conflict …

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How can aid agencies help citizens reduce risks and fight for their rights in the middle of a war zone? Draft paper for your comments

Duncan Green - May 13, 2014

Over the next few weeks, I will be picking your brains on the drafts of a series of case studies I’ve been working on. These draw from Oxfam’s experience of promoting ‘active citizenship’, broadly defined, and examine the theory of change, results, wider lessons etc. The final studies will be published later this year, after incorporating feedback. After the fantastic response to last week’s post …

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What’s the link between human rights and cooking, cleaning and caring and why does it matter?

admin - October 7, 2013

Thalia Kidder, Oxfam’s Senior Adviser on Women’s Economic Rights, welcomes a new UN report that links unpaid care work, poverty, inequality and women’s rights People working on violations of human rights often find it a stretch to put housework, childcare and fetching water and fuelwood alongside evictions from ancestral lands, rape or unjustly emprisoning and torturing activists. Likewise, for those of us talking about care …

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What does a ‘rights-based approach’ look like in practice? A new Oxfam guide

admin - December 10, 2012

Sometimes it seems like the devil has all the best tunes, while the angels struggle to get their message across. In development, some of the most interesting and important concepts are rendered impenetrable to non-specialists by a morass of jargon. Take human rights for example. Today is International Human Rights Day, but I for one, find that the dry, legalistic and jargon-filled language of the …

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