Right To Development In International Law

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Right to Development in International Law

Right to Development in International Law


Poverty is often identified as deprivation in well being. Not just in terms of to be hungry, the lack of shelter and clothing, to be sick and not cared for, or to be illiterate and not schooled, but for poor people, living in poverty is more than this. Poor people are vulnerable to adverse events outside their control. They are often treated badly both by the state and society and excluded from voice and power in those institutions. It is a problem that is not only the concern of each state government, but also an international security issue as it is now a fact that the world is suffering from a severe poverty threat which has more victims than the horror of war.

According to the World Bank Report 2000-2001 on 'Attacking Poverty', of the world's 6 billion people, 2.8 billion of them live on less than $2 a day, and 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a day, and 44% of that number live in South Asia. It is therefore, needless to say that poverty should also be considered a very important issue under international human rights law. International human rights law recognizes that each and every human right belongs to all persons without discrimination of any kind. Not surprisingly if the links between poverty and human rights has been recognized by several organizations. It was even overlooked by one of the earliest international organizations, the League of Nations. Part XIII of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the basis to establish this organization, containing the constitution of the International Labour Organization, which stated 'universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice'. Much later, after the Second World War, on 10 May 1944, Philadelphia Declaration also reaffirmed this orientation of the ILO by stating that 'poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere'.

Moreover, on 10 December 1948, in its preamble, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) declared that 'the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people'. This idea was repeated with similar terms in the preambles of the two international human rights covenants adopted in 1966; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Both of them declared that the ideal situation, a freedom from poverty, 'can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights. Further legal documents that address the poverty issue is the Declaration on Social Progress and Development (1969), which affirmed that social progress and development require the full utilization of human rights resources, including in particular, the assurance to disadvantaged or marginal sectors of the population of equal opportunities for social ...
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