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Rights at Stake

It is essential, when looking at sustainable development from a rights perspective to first acknowledge that in order for a person or society to continue advancing, the basic needs of every individual must be met. Social conditions such as a lack of education and information, as well as poor health conditions, severely limit a person's ability to work and enjoy personal economic growth and development. Therefore basic rights must be respected and realized so that every person has equal access to resources:

- Every person has the right to an adequate standard of living and the continuous improvement of living conditions.
-Every person has the right to the highest level of physical and mental health, and rights to access all resources needed to maintain a high level of health including:


 The right to adequate food and nutrition

 The right to clean water

 The right to sanitation

 The right to health care

-Every person has the right to an education directed to the full development of the human personality.

Rights that directly relate to economic growth and development include:

-The right to adequate work and appropriate working environment. Meaning every person has the right to work and receive a fair monetary wage for work.

-The right to work in a safe environment.

-The right to equal pay for equal work with no difference based on sex, or race.

Humans have the right to participate in making decisions regarding their right to development through:

-The right to self-determination. This right includes free political opinion and the ability to choose how each person wishes to pursue his/her own economic, social and cultural development.

-The right to dispose of wealth and resources however they see fit, and no person can be deprived of his/her means of subsistence.

-The right to technical and scientific knowledge especially in regard to improved production, conservation and distribution of food.

-The right to information regarding the most efficient development and use of natural resources.

-The right to enjoy the improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene to maintain health and well-being.

-The right to be an active participant and beneficiary of the right to development.

The right to development strongly recognizes that all people are equal and should be treated equally in their access and enjoyment of resources and means to improve and continue personal development. Documents encompassing development rights mention specific vulnerable groups in order to ensure that the rights relative to development are enjoyed equally by all.

Children have the right to a standard of living that promotes full development of their physical, mental, spiritual and social capacities. Specifically children have the right to have access to nutrition, clothing, housing and an education that provides them with the tools needed to sustain an adequate standard of living. Children have the right to protection from harsh working conditions that interfere with their ability to enjoy any of the aforementioned rights, and therefore limit their development.

Women have the right to work and enjoy equal pay, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. Women have the right to protection from discrimination in the workplace due to pregnancy. Women have the right to obtain loans, mortgages, and credit that may further their economic development. In rural areas women are assured participation and access to the benefits of rural development through participation in the development planning process; access to education and technical training; the right to organize groups to develop economic opportunity; equal treatment and consideration in land and agrarian reform, and land resettlement.

Indigenous people have the right to define their own priorities regarding development that affects their lives, beliefs, institutions, spiritual well-being and lands. Indigenous people have the right to maintain control over their own social and economic development. Indigenous people have the right to participate and offer input to national and regional development plans that affect them. Indigenous people have the right to continual improvement of living conditions, and continual economic growth. Indigenous people have the right to government study of the impact of development plans on indigenous culture before the implementation of such projects. Indigenous people have the right to protection of their natural environment.


Date: 2015-01-11; view: 871

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Sustainable Development | International and Regional Instruments for Protection and Promotion
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