Extracts from an essay written by David Mepham, UK Director of Human Rights Watch, as part of the World Report 2014:
Making rights integral to a post-2015 global development framework would have a number of clear benefits, not least by:
· Ensuring focus on the poorest and most marginalized communities. The MDGs include global targets for percentage reductions of child and maternal mortality and hunger. By contrast, a rights approach to development would need to set universal goals for providing effective and accessible healthcare and nutrition for all women and children, including the poorest and most disadvantaged, alongside specific targets for reducing disparities between social groups and improving the conditions of the worst off. Progress would be greatly aided and incentivised by disaggregating national and international data, making it possible to measure policy impact on different social, income, and age groups.
· Prompting action to address root causes of poverty—such as inequality, discrimination, and exclusion—by requiring legal and policy reforms and challenging patterns of abuse, as well as harmful cultural practices like child marriage. Governments and donors should be obliged in a new development framework to bring their policies and practices into line with international standards on non-discrimination and equality. Concerted action is also needed to tackle formal, informal, and cultural barriers that prevent women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and indigenous peoples in particular from owning and having equal access to land, property, assets, and credit; inheriting and transferring property; and accessing education and health services.”