Human Rights and Development Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 30 November 2016

Human Rights and Development


The endless efforts by human beings in formulating perception to respect human dignity resulted the human rights discourse and so was case of development. The inherent intensity of searching ‘better’ for human being to respect the human dignity paves the way for new development concept by integrating human rights norms into development, and thereby making a paradigm shift from other development models. The transition from focusing on material to focusing on human in development reflects the deepening of people understanding about the relations between human rights and development. However, armed conflicts within and beyond the national boundaries have been seriously violating human rights and hampering development process. War around the globe had and still has the same result. People around the globe are reshuffling their thinking on development models to ensure human rights thereby getting a peaceful environment free from war and conflicts.

The aim of this paper is to explore the negative relation, if any, between armed conflicts, war and human rights and development assuming as a development model. Linking human rights with development as a development model Human rights are those rights without which a human being cannot live as human being. These rights are indispensable and inviolable, no one is supposed to take away these rights from any individual or groups. These rights are so basic and fundamental that any man or woman gets that from his or her birth and which are founded on human dignity.

On the other hand, Development has now become an inter-disciplinary subject or it can be attributed to different political or ideological viewpoints. Development is as much a prerogative of nations as of individuals within nations. Development as comprehensively would be meant…“is 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 fair distribution of benefits resulting therefrom.”

Human rights and development an integrated approach of development as comparatively a new development model generally known as ‘Rights based approach’. “A rights-based approach is a conceptual framework for the process of human development that is normatively based on international human rights standards and operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights. The right-based approach integrates the norms, standards and principles of international human rights system into the plans, policies and processes of development.” Linking human rights with peace as antithesis of conflicts and war Journey towards protecting rights of the people and ensuring peace in this globe had an immemorial history.

It was so strongly perceived and advocated from the World War I and during and after World War II, which resulted the concept of human rights as it understood today. Perhaps, it was President Wilson of U.S.A. who advocated for rights of the minority as global protection at Peace Conference in Versailles (1919). During World War II world had witnessed the massive violation of human rights and denial of peace. Consequently, international legal and political leaders committed to show respect human rights and to stop wars and conflicts which paved the way for establishing UN as global organization.

“We the peoples of the United Nations determined…to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life time has brought untold sorrow to mankind.” Human beings are in position from where they want to respect the dignity and to avoid the barbarous acts of conflicts and wars by proper understanding and realizing these rights. “…whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.”

But after acknowledging the human rights and making commitments through UN, does the world avoid conflicts and war that violate human rights. The answer would certainly be negative though there was no world war since 1946 to onwards. But the world is witnessed of massive human rights violation in Sudan, Congo, Ruanda, Iraq, Afghanistan and different parts of the world. These in the long run violate the human rights. War, conflicts external or internal and unrest are threat to peace and security everywhere which are the conditions precedent for realizing human rights. Thus, war is the antithesis of human rights and vice- versa.

“It is widely believed that the denial of human rights is not only an individual and personal tragedy as it also creates conditions of social and political unrest, sowing the seeds of violence and conflict within and between the societies and nations.” Thus, there is a close relation in observance of human rights and maintenance of peace or vice versa. The Declaration of Principle of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among the states in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, which was adopted by the UNGA in resolution 2625(XXV) of 24 October 1970, that postulates “…maintaining and strengthening international peace founded upon freedom, justice and respect for human rights.”

Respect, promotion and protection of human rights helps to reduce the conflicts, internal or external and thereby avoiding the war, because by respecting fundamental human rights no civilized nations can support and go for war. Linking development with peace as antithesis of conflicts and war In the context of 21st century, the concept of development has been drastically changed. Now development is perceived in much broader sense than that of previous. Notion of development equating with commodity or economic growth has been changed and now development is perceived as human development, meaning “the process of enlarging people’s choices.”

Thus, there is a close relation between development and peace. An underdeveloped environment is not generally accepted that peace shall be prevailing. For this, to establish such environment, commitments are reflected in UN charter establishing conditions under which justice, respect to international law, to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, ensuring economic and social development for all would be prevailed. Peaceful environment is very much conducive for development and vice versa, Almost 20 years after the cold war our world is becoming less safe, industrialized countries are facing human insecurity by terrorism.

Conflicts by internal groups are also visible in different developing and least developing countries. The world both developed and under-developed is suffering the common problem of insecurity which exposed by among the reasons …deprivation, violation of human rights and less development approach by the rulers. Insecurity linked to armed conflict remains one of the greatest obstacles to realize human rights and development. “Every civilian death linked to conflict is a violation of human rights.” The human security which is the essence of human rights and development has got larger attention across the globe in this era of globalization. The state centric security now turns into the human centric security. Promotion of security helps to ensure the development as well as human rights, and insecurity expose to unrest and under-development and massive violation of human rights.

“Humanity cannot enjoy security without development or development without security, and neither without respect for human rights.” Human being can achieve complete fulfillment of its aspirations only within the just social order. For the stable, peaceful, non-violent environment are preconditions which are more often disturbed by the war and conflicts. “…international peace and security on the one hand, and social progress and economic development on the other, are closely interdependent and influence each other.” Furthermore, there is very close relationship between disarmament which exposes peace as well as development and also prevents armed conflicts and war. “…

[T]here is a close relationship between disarmament and development and that progress in the field of disarmament would considerably promote progress in the field of development.” The costs of wars and conflicts often are not clear to the world community, it just not the violating human rights at once but making many human persons disables for the long time which is contrary to the concept of development. “Violent conflicts claims lives not just through bullets but through the erosion of human security more broadly.”

Armed conflicts and wars all over the world displaced many people which is ultimately a violation of human rights and also a serious impediment of development. “About 25 million people are internally displaced because of conflicts or human rights violations.” However, some developed nations go for war for resources but ultimately their development doesn’t become as sustainable one. Their internal development get interrupted by drugs, alcoholism, joblessness, economic unrest thereby produce instability, recent USA’s movement of ‘we are 99%’ the occupier of world street and UK’s unrest are glaring examples of non-sustainability of their development.


Human rights and development share some commonalities, for that reason they have justification to be applied in practical field which can be a very pragmatic way to solve problems that we are facing today. Thus, in the light of above discussion, it shall not be less than just to claim that, human rights and development both are the antithesis of armed conflicts and war, and vice-versa.

The promotion and protection of formers discourages the latter, and happening of the latter severely violates and hampers the former. Thus, human rights and development are the contradictory to war and the war, armed conflicts are also opposite to the promotion and protection of human rights, and realization sustainable development. In this same point, the both human rights and development could used as to prevent armed conflicts and war. “In turn without development, long term enjoyment of human rights and development will prove illusory and war, of course is the antithesis of both.”

[ 2 ]. The author completed LL.B. & LL.M. from University of Dhaka. And currently serving as Lecturer, Department of Law. Green University of Bangladesh. [ 3 ]. Preamble, Para-2, Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986, adopted by UNGA. [ 4 ]. Robinson, Mary, A voice for human rights, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006, p.303. [ 5 ]. Preamble, The UN charter.1945.

[ 6 ]. Ibid.
[ 7 ]. Bari, Dr.M.Ershadul, Human rights and World peace, The Dhaka University Studies Part-F, Vol.III(1):1-11June 1992,p.2 [ 8 ]. The third preambular paragraph.
[ 9 ]. HDR, 1990, UNDP, New York, p. 10.
[ 10 ]. Ibid.
[ 11 ]. Ibid.
[ 12 ]. See for more, Sen, Amartya, Human security now, Commission on human security, New York, 2003, pp. 2- 9. [ 13 ]. Anaan, kofi, Report of the secretary general, UN ,New York,2005,p.6. [ 14 ]. Preamble, Para-6, Declaration on Social Progress and Development,1969,adopted by UNGA. [ 15 ]. Preamble, Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986, adopted by UNGA. [
16 ]. HDR, 2005, UNDP, New York, p.155.

[ 17 ]. Ibid., p.151.
[ 18 ]. Annan, Kofi, Official records of the UNGA, forty-seventh session, supplement no-1(A/47/1) para-109.

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