Human rights and human development
—for freedom and solidarity
Human rights and human development share a or more countries. There is still far to go— The mark of all
common vision and a common purpose—to but the progress has been spectacular.
civilizations is the respect
secure the freedom, well-being and dignity of all The 21st century’s growing global interde-
people everywhere. To secure: pendence signals a new era. Complex political they accord to human
• Freedom from discrimination—by gender, and economic interactions, coupled with the
dignity and freedom
race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. rise of powerful new actors, open new oppor-
• Freedom from want—to enjoy a decent tunities. They also call for a more visionary
standard of living. commitment to building the institutions, laws
• Freedom to develop and realize one’s and enabling economic environment to secure
human potential. fundamental freedoms for all: all human rights,
• Freedom from fear—of threats to personal for all people in all countries.
security, from torture, arbitrary arrest and other Individuals, governments, non-governmental
violent acts. organizations (NGOs), corporations, policy-
• Freedom from injustice and violations of makers, multilateral organizations—all have a
the rule of law. role in transforming the potential of global
• Freedom of thought and speech and to resources and the promise of technology, know-
participate in decision-making and form how and networking into social arrangements
associations. that truly promote fundamental freedoms
• Freedom for decent work—without everywhere, rather than just pay lip service to
One of the 20th century’s hallmark Many countries—poor and rich—are
achievements was its progress in human already demonstrating a new dynamism in taking
rights. In 1900 more than half the world’s initiatives for human rights and human develop-
people lived under colonial rule, and no ment. South Africa, since ending apartheid, has
country gave all its citizens the right to vote. put human rights at the core of its development
Today some three-quarters of the world lives strategy, with the government establishing one of
under democratic regimes. There has also the world’s most forward-looking structures of
been great progress in eliminating discrimi- rights. In India, the world’s largest democracy,
nation by race, religion and gender—and in the supreme court has insisted on the rights of all
advancing the right to schooling and basic citizens to free education and basic health care.
health care. Europe is making human rights a key priority—
In 1948 the Universal Declaration of as with the pioneering approaches of the Coun-
Human Rights was adopted, for the first time cil of Europe and the European Court of Human
in history acknowledging human rights as a Rights.
global responsibility. Today all but one of the The mark of all civilizations is the respect
six core covenants and conventions on civil, they accord to human dignity and freedom. All
political, economic, social and cultural rights religions and cultural traditions celebrate these
have each been ratified by 140 or more coun- ideals. Yet throughout history they have been
tries. All but one of the seven core labour violated. Every society has known racism, sex-
rights conventions have been ratified by 125 ism, authoritarianism, xenophobia—depriving
men and women of their dignity and freedom. fulfil the human rights of all people. The tra-
And in all regions and cultures the struggle dition of human rights brings legal tools and
against oppression, injustice and discrimina- institutions—laws, the judiciary and the
tion has been common. That struggle contin- process of litigation—as means to secure
ues today in all countries, rich and poor. freedoms and human development.
Rights also lend moral legitimacy and the
principle of social justice to the objectives of
Human freedom is the common purpose human development. The rights perspective
and common motivation of human rights helps shift the priority to the most deprived
and human development. The movements and excluded, especially to deprivations
for human rights and for human because of discrimination. It also directs atten-
In short, human development have had distinct traditions tion to the need for information and political
and strategies. United in a broader voice for all people as a development issue—
development is essential
alliance, each can bring new energy and and to civil and political rights as integral parts
for realizing human strength to the other. of the development process.
Human development, in turn, brings a
rights, and human rights
Human rights and human development are dynamic long-term perspective to the fulfilment
are essential for full both about securing basic freedoms. Human of rights. It directs attention to the socio-eco-
rights express the bold idea that all people have nomic context in which rights can be realized—
claims to social arrangements that protect them or threatened. The concepts and tools of human
from the worst abuses and deprivations—and development provide a systematic assessment of
that secure the freedom for a life of dignity. economic and institutional constraints to the
Human development, in turn, is a process realization of rights—as well as of the resources
of enhancing human capabilities—to expand and policies available to overcome them. Human
choices and opportunities so that each person development thus contributes to building a long-
can lead a life of respect and value. When run strategy for the realization of rights.
human development and human rights In short, human development is essential for
advance together, they reinforce one realizing human rights, and human rights are
another—expanding people’s capabilities essential for full human development.
and protecting their rights and fundamental
Until the last decade human development The 20th century’s advances in human
and human rights followed parallel paths in rights and human development were
both concept and action—the one largely unprecedented—but there is a long
dominated by economists, social scientists and unfinished agenda.
policy-makers, the other by political activists,
lawyers and philosophers. They promoted The major advances in human rights and
divergent strategies of analysis and action— human development came after the horrors of
economic and social progress on the one hand, the Second World War. The 1945 Charter of
political pressure, legal reform and ethical the United Nations, followed by the Universal
questioning on the other. But today, as the two Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, ushered
converge in both concept and action, the in a new era of international commitment to
divide between the human development human freedoms:
agenda and the human rights agenda is nar- • Emphasizing the universality of rights, cen-
rowing. There is growing political support for tred on the equality of all people.
each of them—and there are new opportunities • Recognizing the realization of human rights
for partnerships and alliances. as a collective goal of humanity.
Human rights can add value to the • Identifying a comprehensive range of all
agenda of development. They draw attention rights—civil, political, economic, social and
to the accountability to respect, protect and cultural—for all people.
2 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
• Creating an international system for pro- In 1990, 10% of the world’s countries had
moting the realization of human rights with ratified all six major human rights instruments,
institutions to set standards, establish interna- but by February 2000—in 10 years—this
tional laws and monitor performance (but increased spectacularly to nearly half of all
without powers of enforcement). countries.
• Establishing the state’s accountability for
its human rights obligations and commitments Freedom from discrimination—for
under international law. equality. The 20th century’s progress
Work on international human rights legis- towards equality—regardless of gender, race,
lation also continued. But polarized by the cold religion, ethnicity or age—was propelled by
war, the rhetoric of human rights was reduced social movements. One of the most significant
to a weapon in the propaganda for geopolitical has been the movement for women’s rights, Polarized by the cold war,
interests. The West emphasized civil and polit- with roots back over the centuries. The strug-
the rhetoric of human
ical rights, pointing the finger at socialist coun- gle against discrimination has also led to civil
tries for denying these rights. The socialist (and rights and anti-racism movements the world rights was reduced to a
many developing) countries emphasized eco- over.
weapon in the
nomic and social rights, criticizing the richest • More than three-quarters of the world’s
Western countries for their failure to secure countries have ratified CEDAW and the propaganda for
these rights for all citizens. In the 1960s this led International Convention on the Elimination
to two separate covenants—one for civil and of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
political rights, and the other for economic, (ICERD)—165 for CEDAW and 155 for
social and cultural rights. ICERD.
The 1980s brought a strong renewal of • National institutions and legal standards
international interest and action, propelled by for affirmative action have emerged in Aus-
the women’s movement, the children’s move- tralia, Canada, India, New Zealand and the
ment and a surge of activity by civil society. The United States, where ethnic minorities and
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of indigenous and tribal peoples form a signifi-
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) cant part of the population.
was agreed to in 1979, the Convention on the But discrimination by gender, ethnic
Rights of the Child 10 years later. group, race and age continues all over the
In 1986 the Declaration on the Right to world.
Development was adopted. And further strong • In Canada in 1991, the life expectancy of
commitments were made at the World Confer- an Inuit male, at 58 years, was 17 years less
ence on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993. This than the life expectancy of 75 years for all
was followed by the creation of the position of Canadian males.
United Nations High Commissioner for • In the Republic of Korea the female wage
Human Rights and the growing advocacy for rate is only three-fifths the male, a disparity
rights internationally and nationally. typical of many countries.
The late 1990s brought other developments: • Police reports record hundreds of violent
• The 1998 Rome statute to establish the hate crimes and discrimination against immi-
International Criminal Court. By April 2000 it grants and ethnic minorities in Germany,
had been signed by nearly 100 countries. Sweden and elsewhere in Europe.
• Establishment of international tribunals
for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia—for Freedom from want—for a decent stan-
the first time since the Nuremberg and Tokyo dard of living. The world has made much
trials, enforcing individual accountability for progress in achieving freedom from want
war crimes. and in improving the standard of living of
• The optional protocol to CEDAW, open- millions.
ing the way for individuals to appeal to an • Between 1980 and 1999 malnutrition was
international body. reduced: the proportion of underweight chil-
dren fell in developing countries from 37% to ple’s lives are threatened by violence. For
27% and that of stunted children from 47% to years civil society movements have mobilized
33%. public opinion to eliminate such threats, as
• Between 1970 and 1999 in rural areas of the have international groups. The right of
developing world, the percentage of people habeas corpus, vital as a tool against arbitrary
with access to safe water increased more than detention, now prevails in many more coun-
fourfold—from 13% to 71%. tries. Laws for rape are stricter. Significant
• Some countries made spectacular progress advances are evident in the respect for
in reducing income poverty—China from 33% human rights.
in 1978 to 7% in 1994. • The incidence of torture is lower in many
Yet many deprivations remain: countries. In Honduras the number of torture
Without the rule of law • Worldwide, 1.2 billion people are income cases reported to the Committee for the Defence
poor, living on less than $1 a day (1993 PPP of Human Rights, a major NGO, fell from 156
and fair administration of
US$). in 1991 to 7 in 1996.
justice, human rights laws • More than a billion people in developing • Worldwide, the number of major armed
countries lack access to safe water, and more conflicts—almost all internal—declined from 55
are no more than paper
than 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation. in 1992 to 36 in 1998.
• The appointment of a Special Rapporteur
Freedom to develop and realize one’s on Violence against Women did much to raise
human potential. The achievement of human public awareness and change public policy on
potential reached unprecedented heights in the issue.
the 20th century. Yet the security of people all over the world
• Worldwide, 46 countries, with more is still under threat—from conflicts, political
than a billion people, have achieved high oppression and increasing crime and violence.
human development. • Around the world on average, about one in
• In developing countries during the past every three women has experienced violence in
three decades, life expectancy increased by 10 an intimate relationship.
years—from 55 years in 1970 to 65 in 1998. • Worldwide, about 1.2 million women and
The adult literacy rate increased by half—from girls under 18 are trafficked for prostitution each
48% in 1970 to 72% in 1998. And the infant year.
mortality rate declined by more than two- • About 100 million children are estimated to
fifths—from 110 per 1,000 live births in 1970 be living or working on the street.
to 64 in 1998. • About 300,000 children were soldiers in
• The combined net primary and secondary the 1990s, and 6 million were injured in armed
enrolment ratio increased from 50% in 1970 to conflicts.
72% in 1998.
Yet such progress has been uneven across Freedom from injustice. Without the rule
regions and among groups of people within of law and fair administration of justice, human
countries. rights laws are no more than paper. But there has
• Some 90 million children are out of school been much progress on the institutional front.
at the primary level. • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
• By the end of 1999 nearly 34 million people inspired many constitutions in the newly inde-
were infected with HIV, 23 million in Sub- pendent countries of Asia and Africa during the
Saharan Africa. Life expectancy, after huge 1950s and 1960s. And in recent times Cambo-
gains in the 1970s, is slipping. dia, South Africa, Thailand and most countries
in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of
Freedom from fear—with no threats to Independent States (CIS) have incorporated its
personal security. No other aspect of human articles in their new constitutions. Egypt recently
security is so vital as security from physical became the second of the Arab States, after
violence. But in poor nations and rich, peo- Tunisia, to grant equal divorce rights to
4 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
women. Some 66 countries have abolished signatures against any parliamentarian trig-
the death penalty for all crimes. gering a review. In Brazil the Federal Audit
• To improve the protection of women’s Tribunal, linked to the legislative branch,
rights, many domestic laws have been holds a mandate to audit all expenditures of
changed. In 1995 an amendment to the Citi- the central government.
zenship Act in Botswana, citing the commit- • In 1900 no country had universal adult
ment of the government to CEDAW, granted suffrage. Today nearly all countries do.
the children of women married to foreigners • Between 1974 and 1999 multiparty elec-
the right to assume their mother’s citizenship. toral systems were introduced in 113 countries.
• Public interest litigation cases—in All these are impressive testimony to the
education and environment in such countries advance of freedom, but many setbacks and
as India—have been important in securing dangers need to be addressed. Thanks to impressive
people’s economic and social rights. • About 40 countries do not have a multi-
struggles, most of these
• Human rights ombudsmen are working party electoral system. And democracies
in more than a dozen countries. remain fragile. In the 1990s several countries ugly regimes have given
Still, there is a long way to go. In many reverted to non-electoral regimes.
way to democracies
countries the fair administration of justice • Women hold about 14% of parliamentary
remains elusive because of inadequate insti- seats worldwide.
tutional capacity. • In 1999, 87 journalists and media people
• Of 45 countries having data, more than half were killed while doing their job.
have fewer than 10 judges per 100,000 people.
• The average custody while awaiting trial in Freedom for decent work—without
1994 was 60 weeks in Mexico, 40 weeks in exploitation. Productive and satisfying liveli-
Hungary and 30 weeks in the Czech Republic. hoods give people the means to buy goods and
services. They empower people socially by
Freedom of participation, speech and enhancing their dignity and self-esteem. And
association. The 20th century’s brutal mili- they can empower people politically by
taries, fascist regimes and totalitarian one- enabling them to influence decision-making
party states committed some of the worst in the workplace and beyond.
abuses of human rights. But thanks to • Employment in the formal labour market
impressive struggles, most of these ugly grew impressively in the past decade. In
regimes have given way to democracies. China employment increased 2.2% a year in
• By 1975, 33 countries had ratified the 1987–96—outpacing labour force growth of
International Covenant on Civil and Political 1.5%. The corresponding rates in India were
Rights—by 2000, 144 had. 2.4% and 2.2%.
• One person in five is estimated to partic- • Employment opportunities in developing
ipate in some form of civil society organiza- countries have broadened through expan-
tion. People are participating in national sion of informal sector enterprises, microfi-
poverty hearings, peasants associations, nance and NGO activities.
indigenous peoples associations and truth • Each of the four conventions prohibiting
and reconciliation commissions in post-con- forced labour or discrimination in employ-
flict situations—and at the local level, in ten- ment and occupation has been ratified by
ants associations, school boards, water users more than 140 countries.
associations and community policing. Yet serious problems remain:
• People are also demanding more trans- • At least 150 million of the world’s work-
parency and accountability, and in many ers were unemployed at the end of 1998.
cases the legal framework is helping. Thai- Unemployment varies by ethnic group—in
land’s new constitution allows people to South Africa unemployment among African
demand accountability from public officials males in 1995 was 29%, seven times the 4%
for corruption and misdeeds, with 50,000 rate among their white counterparts.
• In developing countries there are some 250 est and poorest country was about 3 to 1 in
million child labourers—140 million boys and 1820, 35 to 1 in 1950, 44 to 1 in 1973 and 72 to
110 million girls. 1 in 1992.
A recent study of world income distribution
among households shows a sharp rise in
The 21st century opens with new threats to inequality—with the Gini coefficient deterio-
human freedoms. rating from 0.63 in 1988 to 0.66 in 1993 (a value
of 0 signifies perfect equality, a value of 1 per-
History is moving fast at the start of the 21st fect inequality). Gaps between rich and poor
century. Recent events have unleashed waves are widening in many countries—in the Russian
of change, with the new information and com- Federation the Gini coefficient rose from 0.24
As in earlier times, munications technologies, the new global rules to 0.48 between 1987–88 and 1993–95. In Swe-
and institutions and the accelerating global den, the United Kingdom and the United States
advances in the 21st
economic integration. With the end of the cold it rose by more than 16% in the 1980s and early
century will be won by war, the political, economic and social land- 1990s. It remains very high in much of Latin
scape is changing rapidly and radically. This America—0.57 in Ecuador, 0.59 in Brazil and
human struggle against
new context opens unparalleled new opportu- Paraguay. Meanwhile, economic growth has
divisive values—and nities. But it also gives rise to new threats to stagnated in many developing countries. The
human security and human freedom. average annual growth of income per capita in
against the opposition of
1990–98 was negative in 50 countries, only one
entrenched economic and Conflicts within national borders. The of them an OECD country.
number of major armed conflicts peaked at
55 in 1992 and, contrary to many impressions,
later declined. Even so, there were 36 major Bold new approaches are needed to
conflicts in 1998. An estimated 5 million peo- achieve universal realization of human
ple died in intrastate conflicts in the 1990s. rights in the 21st century—adapted to the
Globally in 1998, there were more than 10 opportunities and realities of the era of
million refugees and 5 million internally dis- globalization, to its new global actors and
placed persons. The number of deaths and to its new global rules.
displacements alone greatly understates the
human rights violations in these conflicts, All rights for all people in all countries should be
with widespread rape and torture. the goal of the 21st century. The Universal Dec-
laration had that vision more than 50 years ago.
Economic and political transitions. The world today has the awareness, the
Transitions to democracy brought advances resources and the capacity to achieve this goal on
in many human rights, advances now under a worldwide scale.
threat as a result of ethnic conflict, rising Human freedoms have never advanced
poverty, growing inequality and social strain. automatically. And as in earlier times,
Stable structures of government are not yet in advances in the 21st century will be won by
place or have been greatly weakened. Transi- human struggle against divisive values—and
tion and economic collapse dismantled many against the opposition of entrenched eco-
previous guarantees of social and economic nomic and political interests. People’s move-
rights. ments and civil society groups will be in the
vanguard, raising public awareness of rights
Global inequalities and the marginal- violations and pressing for changes in law and
ization of poor countries and poor people. policy. Today’s technologies and today’s
Global inequalities in income increased in the more open societies present great opportuni-
20th century by orders of magnitude out of ties for networking and for building alliances.
proportion to anything experienced before. Seven key features are needed for a broader
The distance between the incomes of the rich- approach to securing human rights.
6 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
1. Every country needs to strengthen its • Parliamentary human rights bodies now
social arrangements for securing human exist in half of all parliaments, mobilizing sup-
freedoms—with norms, institutions, legal port and setting standards to guarantee rights.
frameworks and an enabling economic envi-
ronment. Legislation alone is not enough. Legal recognition and enforcement. Recog-
nition under the law lends legal weight to the
Laws alone cannot guarantee human rights. moral imperative of human rights—and mobilizes
Institutions to support the legal process are the legal system for enforcement. Unless a
also needed—as is a culture of social norms woman’s claim to equal treatment is legally recog-
and ethics to reinforce the legal structures, not nized, she cannot demand a remedy against dis-
threaten them. An enabling economic envi- crimination. States have the first obligation to
ronment is essential, too. Many groups in soci- participate in the international rights regime and Laws alone cannot
ety, as well as governments, can strengthen all to establish national legal frameworks. But human
guarantee human rights
these social arrangements. rights activists and movements can also press for
legal reforms—to give people access to legal
Norms. Community leaders, religious lead- processes, with institutional barriers removed.
ers, business leaders, parents, teachers—all
have a role in building norms and upholding An enabling economic environment. The
the values of respect for human dignity, free- economic environment needs to facilitate access
dom and equality. And they all have rights and to many rights, not threaten it. Economic
duties. The state also has to promote aware- resources are needed to pay teachers and health
ness. Many countries have introduced human workers, support judges and meet a host of other
rights education in all schools. And awareness needs. A growing economy is thus important for
of rights is spreading in many other ways. The human rights, especially for poor countries. But
media have often made the difference in docu- that growth must be pro-poor, pro-rights and
menting violations—police brutality, disap- sustainable.
pearances, corporate failures to respect labour
standards. More positively, police training in 2. The fulfilment of all human rights requires
human rights to prevent brutality has been suc- democracy that is inclusive—protecting the
cessful in many countries, such as El Salvador. rights of minorities, providing separation of
powers and ensuring public accountability.
Institutions. Children’s rights cannot be Elections alone are not enough.
guaranteed without strong and effective insti-
tutions—not only schools and health centres, The past two decades have seen breakthroughs
but courts that function and specialized ser- with the shift to multiparty democratic
vices for registering births. The state has the regimes—as more than 100 countries ended rule
responsibility to ensure that such institutions by military dictatorships or single parties. But
are in place, and international cooperation can multiparty elections are not enough. The demo-
help in strengthening essential institutions cratic transition, still young, risks reversals. A
and in building capacity. broader view of democracy needs to be pursued,
New institutions are being established to incorporating five features:
promote human rights and tackle complaints: • Inclusion of minorities. To secure
• Independent national commissions for human rights for all requires inclusive democ-
human rights ensure that human rights laws racies, not just majoritarian democracies.
and regulations are being effectively applied. Many “democracies” hold multiparty elec-
Many are playing a vigorous role, as in New tions but exclude minorities from many
Zealand and South Africa. aspects of political participation—in the leg-
• Ombudsmen, pioneered in Sweden, help islature, in the cabinet, in the army. Recent
protect people against rights abuses by public history—and research—show that such
officials. exclusion and horizontal inequality incited
many conflicts of the 1980s and 1990s. standard of living, adequate nutrition, health
Greater attention to equity can prevent con- care, education, decent work and protection
flict and build peace. against calamities are not just development
• Separation of powers. When the goals—they are also human rights.
independence of the judiciary is not ensured, Of the many failures of human rights, the
people cannot enjoy legal protection from denial of these economic, social and cultural
injustice and abuses of their rights. In young rights is particularly widespread. Some 90
democracies a well-functioning independent million children are out of primary school.
judiciary is vital for inclusive democracy. About 790 million people are hungry and
• Open civil society and free and food insecure, and about 1.2 billion live on
independent media. Public scrutiny and state less than $1 a day (1993 PPP US$). Even in
A decent standard of accountability are essential, yet civil society and OECD countries some 8 million people are
the media are still institutionally weak in many undernourished. In the United States alone,
living, adequate nutrition,
countries. The media are state controlled in 5% some 40 million people are not covered by
health care, education, of countries. Some 1,500 attacks on journalists health insurance, and one adult in five is func-
are reported each year by the Toronto Interna- tionally illiterate.
decent work and
tional Freedom of Expression Exchange. Three priorities for human rights and
protection against • Transparent policy-making. Economic development policies:
policy-making behind closed doors violates the • Ensuring civil and political rights—free-
calamities are not just
right to political participation—and is suscep- dom of speech, association and participa-
development goals—they tible to the corrupting influences of political tion—to empower poor people to claim their
power and big money. It creates a disabling social, economic and cultural rights. Given the
are also human rights
environment, ripe for human rights failures. causal links among the many human rights, they
This democratic deficit is widespread in local, can be mutually reinforcing and can empower
national and global economic policy-making— poor people to fight poverty. Guaranteeing civil
reflected in slum clearances that wantonly and political rights is not only an end in itself—
deprive people of housing, dams that flood it is a good means to poverty eradication. Ensur-
houses and farms, budget allocations that ing freedom for NGOs, the media and workers
favour water for middle-class suburbs rather organizations can do much to give poor people
than slums, logging that destroys the environ- the political space to participate in decision-
ment, oil wells that pollute fields and rivers making on policies that affect their lives.
from which people draw livelihoods. A major development of the 1990s was the
• Containment of the corrupting power of flourishing of NGOs and their global
big money. All countries—rich, poor, stagnant, networks—rising in number from 23,600 in
dynamic and in transition—face the challenge of 1991 to 44,000 in 1999. From Guyana to Zam-
ensuring that the voices of the people are heard bia, from India to Russia, people are organiz-
above the whir of spin doctors and the lobbying ing civil society groups and NGOs, getting
power of corporations and special interests. experience defending people’s rights against
evictions, holding government accountable
3. Poverty eradication is not only a for building schools, for community develop-
development goal—it is a central challenge ment and for human rights education and
for human rights in the 21st century. engaging in countless other struggles.
• For the state, meeting its human rights
The torture of a single individual rightly raises obligations to implement policies and pol-
public outrage. Yet the deaths of more than icy-making processes that do the most to
30,000 children every day from mainly pre- secure economic, social and cultural rights
ventable causes go unnoticed. Why? Because for the most deprived and to ensure their
these children are invisible in poverty. participation in decision-making. Rights to
Poverty eradication is a major human housing, health care and the like do not mean
rights challenge of the 21st century. A decent a claim to free services or a state handout.
8 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
Instead, they are claims to social arrangements the obligations of non-state actors and to the
and policies that promote access to these rights state’s obligations beyond national borders.
through both the market (housing) and the
state (free primary education). Global integration is shrinking time, shrink-
• Investing economic resources in pro- ing space and eroding national borders. Peo-
moting human rights. Human rights mea- ple’s lives are more interdependent. The
sures range from the virtually cost-free to those state’s autonomy is declining as new global
demanding substantial resources—for public rules of trade bind national policies and as
budgets to provide schools, teachers and new global actors wield greater influence. And
judges, for corporations to put in place work- as privatization proceeds, private enterprises
ing conditions that respect core labour stan- and corporations have more impact on the
dards. There is no automatic link between economic opportunities of people. As the Poor countries need faster
resources and rights. High incomes do not world becomes more interdependent, both
growth to generate the
guarantee that rich countries are free of serious states and other global actors have greater
human rights violations any more than low obligations. resources to finance the
incomes prevent poor countries from making • States—decisions of states, whether on
eradication of poverty
impressive progress. interest rates or arms sales, have significant
Worldwide, public spending on economic consequences for the lives of people outside and the realization of
and social rights is inadequate and badly distrib- national boundaries.
uted. In Ethiopia in the 1990s, annual spending • Global actors—the World Trade Organi-
on basic health services was only $3 a person, zation, the Bretton Woods institutions, global
only 25% of the level required for the minimum corporations, global NGO networks and the
health package. The global shortfall for achieving global media—all have significant impacts on
universal provision of basic services in develop- the lives of people around the world.
ing countries amounts to $70–80 billion a year. • Global rules—more global rules are
The 20:20 compact calls for 20% of national bud- being developed in all areas, from human
gets and 20% of aid budgets to be allocated to rights to environment and trade. But they are
universal provision of basic needs. But spending developing separately, with the potential for
is often much lower—12–14% on average for 30 conflict. Human rights commitments and
countries in a recent study, and 4% in Cameroon, obligations need to be reflected in trade
7.7% in the Philippines, 8.5% in Brazil. Bilateral rules—the only ones now truly binding on
donors on average allocate only 8.3%. national policy—because they have enforce-
Poor countries need faster growth to gen- ment measures.
erate the resources to finance the eradication of But little in the current global order binds
poverty and the realization of human rights. states and global actors to promote human
But economic growth alone is not enough. It rights globally. Many least developed coun-
needs to be accompanied by policy reforms tries are being marginalized from the expand-
that channel funds into poverty eradication ing opportunities of globalization. As world
and human development—and into building exports more than doubled, the share of least
institutions, shaping norms and reforming laws developed countries declined from 0.6% in
to promote human rights. 1980 to 0.5% in 1990 to 0.4% in 1997. And
The neglect of economic and social rights these countries attracted less than $3 billion
can undermine civil and political liberties, just in foreign direct investments in 1998. The
as the neglect of civil and political rights can global online community is growing expo-
undermine economic and social rights in times nentially—reaching 26% of all people in the
of calamities and threats. United States but fewer than 1% in all devel-
4. Human rights—in an integrated world— The present global order suffers from
require global justice. The state-centred three gaps—in incentives, jurisdiction and
model of accountability must be extended to participation.
• Incentive gaps. Governments are society networks provide new sources of infor-
charged in trade negotiations to pursue mation. The Internet disseminates their findings
national interests, not global interests. as never before. Greater attention is going to col-
• Jurisdictional gaps. Human rights lecting and using high-quality information to put
treaties have weak enforcement mechanisms, across messages and call for change.
while the trade agreements are backed by the Data are helping some governments make
“teeth” of enforcement. So there is pressure better policies. Data are enhancing public
to include human rights—such as labour understanding of constraints and trade-offs and
rights—in trade agreements. But sanctions creating social consensus on national priorities
are a blunt instrument. They pressure gov- and performance expectations. Data are also
ernment policy but do little to change the drawing attention to neglected human rights
The system of global behaviour of employers. issues—the release of statistics on domestic vio-
Global corporations can have enormous lence, hate crimes and homelessness in many
governance needs to be
impact on human rights—in their employ- countries has turned silence into debate. And
transparent and fair, ment practices, in their environmental data are helping identify which actors are having
impact, in their support for corrupt regimes an impact on whether a right is being realized—
giving voice to small and
or in their advocacy for policy changes. Yet and creating a need for them to be accountable.
poor countries international laws hold states accountable, The emerging framework of international
not corporations. True, many corporations human rights law provides a strong foundation
have adopted codes of conduct and policies for deriving indicators on the legal obligations
of social responsibility, especially in of the state. Bringing quantitative assessment
response to public pressure—a good first to this legal framework is empowering govern-
step. But many fail to meet human rights ments to understand their obligations and the
standards, or lack implementation measures actions needed to meet them. It is also empow-
and independent audits. ering civil society to stand up in court and pro-
• Participation gaps. Small and poor vide advocacy.
countries generally participate little in global The use of indicators needs to be focused
economic rule-making for a host of reasons, more on revealing the roles and impacts of
starting with the costs of participation and other actors in addition to the government. At
policy research. the local level analysis needs to focus on the
Just as nations require an inclusive democ- important influences, both positive and nega-
racy to guarantee respect for human rights, so tive, that households, communities, the media,
the system of global governance needs to be the private sector, civil society and government
transparent and fair, giving voice to small and have on the realization of rights.
poor countries and releasing them from their At the international level data are needed
marginalization from the benefits of the global not only on the role of the state, but on the
economy and technology. roles of corporations and multilateral institu-
tions. Also needed are indicators on the
5. Information and statistics are a powerful impacts that states have beyond the impacts on
tool for creating a culture of accountability their citizens—states as donors and lenders,
and for realizing human rights. Activists, states as traders and negotiators, states as arms
lawyers, statisticians and development spe- dealers and peace-makers.
cialists need to work together with commu- Four priorities for strengthening the use of
nities. The goal: to generate information and indicators in human rights:
evidence that can break down barriers of • Collecting new and better official data and
disbelief and mobilize changes in policy and ensuring greater public access to the data—an
behaviour. effort spearheaded by the right to information
The constant struggle to realize rights is benefit- • Diversifying the sources of information—
ing tremendously from the information age. Civil from national human rights institutions to civil
10 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
society and community organizations—and areas where action is needed to deal with
building the reliability and credibility of the gaps and contradictions. Many countries
information they provide. have already undertaken such reviews for
• Setting benchmarks for assessing CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights
performance. All countries need to build of the Child. The process now should be
social consensus on priorities and the rate of extended—to remove other laws that dis-
progress possible in their context. criminate against women or violate the rights
• Strengthening the procedures that hold of other groups. Jordan is reviewing legisla-
actors accountable—from state reports to treaty tion to stop “honour” killings of women. In
bodies and NGO “shadow reports” to indepen- Argentina people and politicians are collabo-
dent monitoring of multinational corporations. rating to review laws and institutional barri-
ers to justice, especially to promote access to The challenge is to build a
6. Achieving all rights for all people in all justice for poor people and women.
culture of human rights
countries in the 21st century will require • Using education and the media to pro-
action and commitment from the major mote the norms of human rights throughout awareness and
groups in every society—NGOs, media and society. The challenge is to build a culture of
businesses, local as well as national govern- human rights awareness and commitment.
ment, parliamentarians and other opinion Many countries have been highly creative in
leaders. incorporating rights within the school system. In
Cambodia 25,000 teachers have been trained in
In every country five priorities will help advance human rights, and they have already taught more
national action: than 3 million children. Ecuador devoted a week
• Assessing nationally the existing human of television to explaining the rights of the child
rights situation to set priorities for action. and then made it possible for children to use the
Such assessments were recommended at the electoral machinery to vote on which rights they
Vienna Conference—though only 10 countries thought most important for themselves. Several
have prepared such plans, Australia and Brazil Latin American countries have incorporated
among them. In their place, many assessments human rights in training courses for the police
are made by international NGOs and institu- and for social workers.
tions based in industrialized countries. Not sur- • Building alliances for support and action.
prising, reports from outside often generate Alliances for advancing human rights are going
hostility and tension. global. Many such alliances have formed to press
Rather than react to criticisms from foreign for progress in the rights of women, children,
governments and international NGOs, it is time minorities and groups with special needs, such
for countries to produce their own national as the disabled or people with HIV/AIDS. The
assessments—reviewing their performance in Disabled People’s International, now covering
relation to the full set of core rights, looking at 158 countries, has contributed to changes in law
operational requirements for advance, identify- and policy from Uganda to Zimbabwe to the
ing next steps in the context of the country’s European Union. Alliances are also building on
resources and realities. Such assessments can issues—such as the FoodFirst Information and
best be prepared by a group that includes civil Action Network. And Indian farmers are joining
society, not just government—the annual Brazilian struggles for land rights.
reports of the Pakistan human rights commis- • Promoting an enabling economic
sion are a good example. Many countries have environment. The state has the primary
already prepared national human development responsibility for ensuring that growth is pro-
reports, and a national assessment of human poor, pro-rights and sustainable—by imple-
rights could be combined with updates of these menting appropriate policies and ensuring that
reports. human rights commitments and goals are incor-
• Reviewing national legislation against porated as objectives in economic policy-mak-
core international human rights to identify ing. There is a need for open and transparent
public debate—in politics, in the media—that • Mobilizing the support of international
presses for accountability in public policy corporations for human rights. People’s
decisions. movements have mobilized public opinion
against multinational corporations that flout
7. Human rights and human development human rights. In many cases the firms that
cannot be realized universally without were earlier criticized—Shell, Nike, General
stronger international action, especially to Motors—have responded by developing codes
support disadvantaged people and countries of conduct. Consumer demand and labelling
and to offset growing global inequalities and schemes, such as the United Kingdom’s Ethi-
marginalization. cal Trading, are creating incentives for better
social and environmental practices. Some cor-
A global change in Growing global interdependence and the des- porations, such as Benetton, are engaging in
perate scarcity of resources and capacity in public advocacy on rights issues. The Secre-
attitude is needed,
poor countries underline the need for the tary-General’s Global Compact is seeking to
moving to a positive international community to take much mobilize corporate engagement to promote
stronger action to promote human rights. A respect for human rights as a norm and a value
approach of support for
global change in attitude is needed, moving to in the corporate sector. These diverse
human rights in place of a positive approach of support for human approaches can build even greater momentum
rights in place of punitive approaches that for raising corporate commitments to higher
emphasize “naming and shaming” and condi- standards for human rights and developing
tions for aid. new tools of accountability.
Five priority areas for international action: • Strengthening regional approaches.
• Strengthening a rights-based approach in Many regional initiatives for human rights have
development cooperation, without con- built on shared concerns and shared values of
ditionality. Development cooperation can con- neighbouring countries—the African Charter
tribute directly to realizing human rights in poor on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African
countries in three ways. The first is to increase Human Rights Commission, the European
support to capacity building for democracy and Social Charter, the Inter-American Court of
the promotion of civil and political rights. The Human Rights. These initiatives need to be
second is to increase support for the eradication strengthened and carried forward to fulfil their
of income and human poverty. And the third is potential for sharing experience, political com-
to introduce an explicit rights-based approach mitment and financial support.
to programming. • Embarking on new efforts for peace-
Important elements of this approach have making, peace-building and peacekeeping.
already been successfully adopted by Australia, Conflict and war lead to the worst of human
Sweden and the United Kingdom, and by rights abuses—not only mass slaughter but
UNDP and the United Nations Children’s rape, torture, the destruction of housing and
Fund (UNICEF). Norway recently reviewed its schools and the unspeakable violence that
support to human rights efforts in the United scars human memories for life. Many new
Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ideas are afoot in the aftermath of the
This experience makes clear the effectiveness of tragedies of the 1990s. Early warning and
a positive and supportive approach. Finger- early preventive action. Stronger legal protec-
pointing engenders hostility and distrust, while tion for civilians, including legal status for the
conditionality often is ineffective and leads to displaced. International efforts to bring per-
counterproductive confrontation. petrators to account. And a broad agenda of
Aid, debt relief, access to markets, access to peace-making, peace-building, peacekeeping
private financial flows and stability in the and reconstruction. Prevention is always more
global economy are all needed for the full real- cost-effective than later intervention. Govern-
ization of rights in the poorest and least devel- ments need to hammer home this fact of expe-
oped countries. rience to generate the political support
12 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
needed to resolve conflicts before they • • •
• Strengthening the international human Human rights could be advanced beyond all
rights machinery. Procedures in the existing recognition over the next quarter century.
machinery need to be simplified and speeded The progress in the past century justifies
up. Proposals are on the table to increase effi- bold ambitions. But for the globally inte-
ciency and effectiveness, to ease the reporting grated, open societies of the 21st century,
burden on countries and to achieve greater pol- we need stronger commitments to univer-
icy attention. The UN system, including the salism combined with respect for cultural
International Labour Organization (ILO), pro- diversity. This will require six shifts from
vides a framework for information but lacks the cold war thinking that dominated the
enforcement measures. 20th century: The world community
Recent innovations to strengthen legal • From the state-centred approaches to plu-
needs to return to the
enforcement—such as the International Criminal ralist, multi-actor approaches—with account-
Court, the optional protocol permitting individ- ability not only for the state but for media, audacious vision of those
ual complaints and the use of international law in corporations, schools, families, communities
who drafted the Universal
national cases—are promising avenues for the and individuals.
application of human rights law. The experience • From the national to international and Declaration of Human
of UNICEF and the United Nations Develop- global accountabilities—and from the interna-
ment Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in supporting tional obligations of states to the responsibilities
the work of the Convention on the Rights of the of global actors.
Child and of CEDAW illustrates the importance • From the focus on civil and political rights to
of operational support to countries in participat- a broader concern with all rights—giving as
ing in these international procedures. much attention to economic, social and cultural
Some specific initiatives could mobilize peo- rights.
ple around the world to: • From a punitive to a positive ethos in inter-
• Embark on a global campaign to achieve national pressure and assistance—from reliance
universal ratification of the core human rights on naming and shaming to positive support.
conventions. • From a focus on multiparty elections to the
• Press all Fortune 500 companies to recog- participation of all through inclusive models of
nize and support human rights and core labour democracy.
standards—and join in support of the Secretary- • From poverty eradication as a development
General’s Global Compact. goal to poverty eradication as social justice, ful-
• Achieve the guarantee of compulsory pri- filling the rights and accountabilities of all
mary education in all constitutions by 2010. actors.
• Achieve the 20:20 compact for all least The world community needs to return to
developed countries by 2010. the audacious vision of those who dreamed
• Set up a global commission on human rights of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and
in global governance with a mandate to review drafted the Universal Declaration of
proposals for strengthening the international Human Rights. A new millennium is just the
human rights machinery and human rights safe- occasion to reaffirm such a vision—and to
guards in global economic agreements and renew the practical commitments to make it
secure a fair global economic system. happen.
U NIVERSAL D ECLARATION OF H UMAN R IGHTS
ARTICLE 1 ARTICLE 11
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which
another in a spirit of brotherhood. he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any
ARTICLE 2 act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Dec- or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heav-
laration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, lan- ier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the
guage, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, penal offence was committed.
property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be
made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status ARTICLE 12
of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, fam-
independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of ily, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and repu-
sovereignty. tation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such
interference or attacks.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. ARTICLE 13
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within
ARTICLE 4 the borders of each state.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and
shall be prohibited in all their forms. to return to his country.
ARTICLE 5 ARTICLE 14
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum
treatment or punishment. from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely
ARTICLE 6 arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the and principles of the United Nations.
ARTICLE 7 (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the
to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against right to change his nationality.
any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incite-
ment to such discrimination. ARTICLE 16
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race,
ARTICLE 8 nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at
tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the its dissolution.
constitution or by law. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of
the intending spouses.
ARTICLE 9 (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. is entitled to protection by society and the State.
ARTICLE 10 ARTICLE 17
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association
independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights with others.
and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
14 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
ARTICLE 18 ARTICLE 25
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and free- and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
dom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to
to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood,
observance. old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assis-
ARTICLE 19 tance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right same social protection.
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regard- ARTICLE 26
less of frontiers. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least
in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall
ARTICLE 20 be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made gen-
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. erally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association. the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human
ARTICLE 21 personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fun-
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, damental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
directly or through freely chosen representatives. friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
country. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of govern- be given to their children.
ment; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections
which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ARTICLE 27
vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the
community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and
ARTICLE 22 its benefits.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material
entitled to realization, through national effort and international co- interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of
operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of which he is the author.
each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for
his dignity and the free development of his personality. ARTICLE 28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the
ARTICLE 23 rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to
just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against ARTICLE 29
unemployment. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for full development of his personality is possible.
equal work. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remu- only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose
neration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of
human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order
social protection. and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the pro- (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to
tection of his interests. the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
ARTICLE 24 ARTICLE 30
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limita- Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State,
tion of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act
aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 15
GLOSSARY ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Human rights obligations are norms. Norms provide people
Human rights are the rights possessed by all per- and other actors with reasons for conducting
sons, by virtue of their common humanity, to live themselves in certain ways. Some duties and
a life of freedom and dignity. They give all peo- obligations require only that a person refrain
ple moral claims on the behaviour of individuals from a certain course of conduct. Others require
and on the design of social arrangements—and that the person undertake a course of conduct
are universal, inalienable and indivisible. Human or one of a range of permissible courses of
rights express our deepest commitments to conduct.
ensuring that all persons are secure in their
enjoyment of the goods and freedoms that are Human rights and the correlate duties of
necessary for dignified living. duty bearers
Human rights are correlated with duties. Duty
Universality of human rights bearers are the actors collectively responsible for
Human rights belong to all people, and all peo- the realization of human rights. Those who bear
ple have equal status with respect to these rights. duties with respect to a human right are account-
Failure to respect an individual’s human right able if the right goes unrealized. When a right has
has the same weight as failure to respect the right been violated or insufficiently protected, there is
of any other—it is not better or worse depending always someone or some institution that has
on the person’s gender, race, ethnicity, national- failed to perform a duty.
ity or any other distinction.
Perfect and imperfect duties
Inalienability of human rights Perfect duties specify both how the duty is to be
Human rights are inalienable: they cannot be performed and to whom it is owed. Imperfect
taken away by others, nor can one give them up duties, by contrast, leave open both how the duty
voluntarily. can be performed and how forceful the duty is
that must be carried out.
Indivisibility of human rights
Human rights are indivisible in two senses. First, International human rights treaties,
there is no hierarchy among different kinds of covenants and conventions
rights. Civil, political, economic, social and cul- Used interchangeably, treaty, covenant and
tural rights are all equally necessary for a life of convention refer to legally binding agreements
dignity. Second, some rights cannot be sup- between states. These agreements define the
pressed in order to promote others. Civil and duties of states parties to the treaty, covenant or
political rights may not be violated to promote convention.
economic, social and cultural rights. Nor can
economic, social and cultural rights be sup- States parties
pressed to promote civil and political rights. States parties to an international agreement are
the countries that have ratified it and are thereby
Realization of human rights legally bound to comply with its provisions.
A human right is realized when individuals enjoy
the freedoms covered by that right and their Ratification of a treaty (covenant, convention)
enjoyment of the right is secure. A person’s Ratification of an international agreement repre-
human rights are realized if and only if social sents the promise of a state to uphold it and
arrangements are in place sufficient to protect adhere to the legal norms that it specifies.
her against standard threats to her enjoyment of
the freedoms covered by those rights. Signing of a treaty (covenant, convention)
Signing a treaty, covenant or convention repre-
Duties and obligations sents a promise of the state to adhere to the
The terms duties and obligations are used principles and norms specified in the docu-
interchangeably in this Report. Duties and ment without creating legal duties to comply
16 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000
GLOSSARY ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
with them. Signing is the first step that states teed human rights—all needed for being cre-
undertake towards ratifying and thus becom- ative and productive and for enjoying self-
ing states parties to an agreement. Presidential respect, empowerment and a sense of
signature of an agreement must be ratified by belonging to a community. In the ultimate
parliament for the agreement to become analysis, human development is development
legally binding. of the people, for the people and by the people.
Reservation to a treaty (covenant, Functionings, capabilities and freedom
convention) The functionings of a person refer to the valu-
A reservation to a treaty indicates that a state able things that the person can do or be (such
party does not agree to comply with one or as being well nourished, living long and taking
more of its provisions. Reservations are, in part in the life of a community). The capability
principle, intended to be used only temporar- of a person stands for the different combina-
ily, when states are unable to realize a treaty tions of functionings the person can achieve.
provision but agree in principle to do so. Capabilities thus reflect the freedom to achieve
functionings. In that sense, human develop-
Treaty bodies ment is freedom.
Treaty bodies are the committees formally
established through the principal international Human poverty and income poverty
human rights treaties to monitor states parties’ Human poverty is defined by impoverishment
compliance with the treaties. Treaty bodies in multiple dimensions—deprivations in a long
have been set up for the six core UN human and healthy life, in knowledge, in a decent stan-
rights treaties to monitor states parties’ efforts dard of living, in participation. By contrast,
to implement their provisions. income poverty is defined by deprivation in a
single dimension—income—because it is
Human rights declarations believed either that this is the only impoverish-
Human rights declarations enunciate agreed ment that matters or that any deprivation can
upon principles and standards. These docu- be reduced to a common denominator. The
ments are not in themselves legally binding. concept of human poverty sees lack of ade-
But some declarations, most notably the Uni- quate income as an important factor in human
versal Declaration of Human Rights, have been deprivation, but not the only one. Nor, accord-
understood as having the status of common ing to this concept, can all impoverishment be
law, since their provisions have been so widely reduced to income. If income is not the sum
recognized as binding on all states. total of human lives, lack of income cannot be
the sum total of human deprivation.
Human development is the process of enlarg- Human development index (HDI)
ing people’s choices, by expanding human The HDI measures the average achievements
functionings and capabilities. Human develop- in a country in three basic dimensions of
ment thus also reflects human outcomes in human development—a long and healthy life,
these functionings and capabilities. It repre- knowledge and a decent standard of living. A
sents a process as well as an end. composite index, the HDI thus contains three
At all levels of development the three variables—life expectancy at birth, educa-
essential capabilities are for people to lead a tional attainment (adult literacy and the com-
long and healthy life, to be knowledgeable and bined gross primary, secondary and tertiary
to have access to the resources needed for a enrolment ratio) and GDP per capita (PPP
decent standard of living. But the realm of US$). Income enters the HDI as a proxy for a
human development extends further: other decent standard of living and as a surrogate for
areas of choice highly valued by people include all human choices not reflected in the other two
participation, security, sustainability, guaran- dimensions.
GLOSSARY ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 17
GLOSSARY ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Gender-related development index (GDI) (HPI-2). A separate index has been devised
The GDI measures the achievements in the for industrialized countries because human
same dimensions and using the same vari- deprivation varies with the social and eco-
ables as the HDI does, but takes into account nomic conditions of a community, and to
inequality in achievement between women take advantage of the greater availability of
and men. The greater is the gender disparity data for these countries.
in basic human development, the lower is a
country’s GDI compared with its HDI. The HPI-1
GDI is simply the HDI discounted, or The HPI-1 measures deprivation in the same
adjusted downwards, for gender inequality. basic dimensions of human development as the
HDI. The variables used are the percentage of
Gender empowerment measure (GEM) people born today expected to die before age
The GEM indicates whether women are able 40, the percentage of adults who are illiterate
to actively participate in economic and polit- and deprivation in overall economic provision-
ical life. It measures gender inequality in key ing—public and private—reflected by the per-
areas of economic and political participation centage of people without access to health
and decision-making. The GEM, focusing on services and safe water and the percentage of
women’s opportunities in economic and underweight children.
political arenas, thus differs from the GDI,
an indicator of gender inequality in basic HPI-2
capabilities. The HPI-2 focuses on deprivation in the same
three dimensions as the HPI-1 and an addi-
Human poverty index (HPI) tional one, social exclusion. The variables are
The HPI measures deprivations in human the percentage of people born today expected
development. Thus while the HDI measures to die before age 60, the percentage of people
the overall progress in a country in achieving whose ability to read and write is not adequate
human development, the HPI reflects the to be functional, the proportion of people who
distribution of progress and measures the are income poor (with disposable incomes of
backlog of deprivations that still exists. The less than 50% of the median disposable house-
HPI is constructed for developing countries hold income) and the proportion of the long-
(HPI-1) and for industrialized countries term unemployed (12 months or more).
18 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2000