Dehumanising Development : Right to Development versus Rights Based Approach to Development.

  • Malik Fahdul Haq Azim Premji University, Bangalore, India
  • Anubhav Raj Shekhar Azim Premji University, Bangalore, Karnataka, India


In the aftermath of the world-war, development and human rights were two separate sets of approaches taken to strive for a prosperous and peaceful global order. However, the approaches were found to have similar ends and therefore in the short history of over six decades they have crossed paths multiple times. In 1986, the right to development was accepted as a human right through the United Nations Declaration on Right to Development. However, practical concerns and ambiguity around obligations under the Declaration prevented several major players from the global North from supporting the declaration to culminate into a legally binding instrument.


This paper while tracing the history of the Right to Development shall contrast it with the Right Based Approach to Development which developed in the 1990s and highlight the shortcomings on the new approach which has found substantial support from the global north in the recent past. The paper is divided in four sections. The first section provides the introduction to the paper tracing how development and human rights crossed paths. The second section discusses the Right to Development and Rights Based Approach to Development in detail bringing out the differences followed by the third section which elucidates the main argument highlighting the incompatibility of the two approaches. The fourth section provides a concluding note to the paper. The primary claim of the paper is that the paradigm shift from Right to Development to Human Rights Based Approach in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to an undermining of the obligation of the international community towards the needs of developing countries and a lack of coherent human rights framework in development policy.

How to Cite
HAQ, Malik Fahdul; SHEKHAR, Anubhav Raj. Dehumanising Development : Right to Development versus Rights Based Approach to Development.. Journal of Human Rights Law and Practice, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, jan. 2020. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 mar. 2020.