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AFI CHANGEMAKERS AT THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL REPORT ON THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT

REPORT WRITTEN BY: ISABEL PEARSON (SPEAKER) SOFIA KELLY (RAPPORTEUR) TIZANE ROGERS August 2016


Ariel Foundation International 2016 ISBN: 978-0-9964523-0-4

Acknowledgements We would like to thank Dr. Ariel King, president of the Ariel Foundation International, for giving us the incredible opportunity of siting as delegates in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. It was this experience that enabled us to write this report and engage with critical contemporary decisionmaking. Dr. King’s dedication to empowering the Global Youth and her sustained belief that we can contribute to global decision-making is what has made this report possible. We would also like to thank Inesa Pranckaityte and Smriti Sonam, the two co-chairs of the AFI Changemakers at the UN Summit for their support throughout the Summit and the subsequent report writing.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT …………………………………………………………………………………….4 INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………....5 1- HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT………………….………………….……6 1.1 THE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND PROBLEMS…………………………………………….……..6 1.2 DIAGNOSIS OF THE PROBLEM……………………………………………………………….……..6 1.3 MEASURE TO REMOVE THE ISSUE (RECOMMENDATIONS)………………………………..6 1.3.1 RECOMMENDATION 1……………………………..……………………………………...7 1.3.2 RECOMMENDATION 2…………………………………………………………………….7 1.3.3 RECOMMENDATION 3 …………………………………………………...………………..8

2- BASIC NEEDS……………………………………………………………………………...9 2.1 THE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND PROBLEMS ……………………………………………...9 2.2 DIAGNOSIS OF THE PROBLEM ………………………………………………………………….…9 2.3 MEASURE TO REMOVE THE ISSUE (RECOMMENDATIONS) ……………………………….9 2.3.1 RECOMMENDATION 1…………………………………………………………………...10 2.3.2 RECOMMENDATION 2…………………………………………………………………...10 2.3.3 RECOMMENDATION 3…………………………………………………………………...11

3- MARGINALISED GROUPS …………………………………………………………...12 3.1 THE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND PROBLEMS……………………………………………..12 3.2 DIAGNOSIS OF THE PROBLEM ……………………………………………………………...12 3.3 MEASURE TO REMOVE THE ISSUE (RECOMMENDATIONS) ……………………………...13 3.3.1 RECOMMENDATION 1…………………………………………………………………...13 3.3.2 RECOMMENDATION 2…………………………………………………………………...13 3.3.3 RECOMMENDATION 3…………………………………………………………………...13 3.3.4 RECOMMENDATION 4…………………………………………………………………...13

4- MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS……………...14 4.1 THE DEVELOPMENT ISSUES AND PROBLEMS…………………………………………………14 4.2 DIAGNOSIS OF THE PROBLEM ……………………………………………………………...14 4.3 MEASURE TO REMOVE THE ISSUE (RECOMMENDATIONS) ……………………………...14 4.3.1 RECOMMENDATION 1…………………………………………………………………...14 4.3.2 RECOMMENDATION 2…………………………………………………………………...15 4.3.3RECOMMENDATION 3……………………………………………………………………15 4.3.4 RECOMMENDATION 4…………………………………………………………………...16

CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………………………..17 BIBLIOGRAPHY …………………………………………………………………………….18

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Abstract This report on the Right to Development was carried out following the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council taking into consideration what was said together with our own submissions derived from our research. The report highlights the similar and symbiotic nature of basic human rights and the basic needs of development. It then goes on to examine the effects of phenomena such as marginalization of certain sectors of populations and those of the involvement of multi-national corporations on these developing economies and their human rights records. The report puts forward a number of recommendations to conclude that there is a need for more practical enforcement of the Right to Development, that all individuals must be included in the process and that the international community should focus on capacity building in order to achieve this.

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INTRODUCTION It is widely accepted throughout institutions within the United Nations (UN), most poignantly the Human Rights Council (HRC), that states don’t always respect human rights during their pursuit of development. This calls for a greater requirement from states to direct their development towards the constant improvement of whole populations, but be simultaneously mindful of the needs of the individual. This is as, according the declaration of the Right to Development, all individuals without distinction of race, sex, language or religion (UNGA 1986) are entitled to the Right to Development. In the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and Human Rights (UNGA 2015a) it is stated that the next generation can be supported through exercising prudence in building contemporary solutions, and the Right to Development declaration will be a vital tool in order to do this if used to its full potential. The Right to Development is based on a central focus on the human person, and the recognition that development “is a comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process, which aims at the constant improvement of the well-being of an entire population” (UNGA 1986). It demands the bridging of human rights with international relations, peace and security and necessitates better governance of international economic frameworks. Often human rights are compromised in the pursuit of economic growth, which therefore is indicative of a need for a form of International Political Economy (IPE) which is compatible with the human rights of individuals within states. H.E. Mr Wayne McCook, the Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the UN Office and other international organisations in Geneva, argues that the interconnection between the realisation of human rights and economic development will aid this endeavour (HRC 2016). The following section of the report looks at four key areas which reflect on this necessity; Human Rights and Development, Basic Needs, Marginalised Groups, and Multinational Corporations and Human Rights. It outlines and argues key issues which prevent the realisation of human rights within certain structures of social order, and presents recommendations for action utilising Martin Khor’s structure on how to best implement the Right to Development (HRC 2016). This consists of: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The identification of the development issues and problem; The diagnosis of the problem; A proposition of the best measures to remove the issue; The implementation of the measures; The evaluation and adjustment of the actions.

Due to the limitations in preparing this report, points four and five of the Khor structure will not be included. Nonetheless, this report will endeavour to fully outline the first three elements of this procedure in order to investigate the means by which the Right to Development can be better used as a tool to secure human rights worldwide in the development process. It is the hope that the Human Rights Council will endeavour to follow through with the last two factors of the criteria.

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1-HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT The Right to Development is based on the prerequisite that the human person is the central subject of the development process (UNGA 1986). Article 1 of the Right to Development Declaration emphasises that not only is the human person an active participant but the primary beneficiary of the Right to Development (UNGA 1986). Human rights are often compromised in a state’s developmental pursuits, and the right to development aims to emphasise the centrality of the individual and their rights in this process. 1.1 The development issues and problems: The predominant issue regarding human rights and the right to development is a perceived lack of respect for self-determination and human dignity in domestic development practices. Human dignity was extensively referenced in H.E. Wayne McCook, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the UN Office’s, opening remarks at the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council and 30th anniversary of the Right to Development (HRC 2016). McCook argued that by simply setting out the rights of individuals, the international community assumes that the work is done; however, in reality there is much discrepancy between how human dignity is defined, interpreted and implemented - not only by member states of the Human Rights Council but also those in Civil Society. 1.2 Diagnosis of the problem: There is, throughout global institutions and bodies, a prioritisation of growth as opposed to human rights. Although both are mutually beneficial, human rights are better preserved if viewed as the core of development rather than a by-product. This will be discussed further under the “Basic Needs” subsection of this report, but it is important to point out at this stage the necessity of the Human Rights Council to reconcile development and human rights with the individual as the primary focus. In the opening sessions of the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council, many NGOs and representatives of Civil Society, most notably Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), highlighted the more practical issues that arise from the lack of centrality of the human person and dignity in development practice. An arguably trivial issue of travel bans on Human Rights Activists and the lack of response from member states was argued to have a wider impact and message about our response to human rights in development as a global community. Human Rights Defenders and Activists are a central source of information and research on the progression of states in their pursuit (or lack thereof) of the full implementation of human rights as a central subject of their development progress. Without the protection and security of these vital individuals, there is a start reduction in the abundance of information as to certain states’ progress, and therefore a lack of accountability to their actions. Furthermore, there is a disregard of the priority of the role of civil society. Caps and limitations on their actions fundamentally hinders the progression, realisation and protection of human rights within a state. This seemingly small issues within the field of Human Rights reflects bigger implications and issues within the maintenance and improvement of human rights within states, which is vital to the development of states on a human level. This is indicative of a lack of responsibility with regard to Human Rights and State’s implementation of them at the core of their domestic and foreign policy. 1.3 Measure to remove the issue (Recommendations): The right to development puts human rights in a practical setting. Human rights must be placed at

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the centre of the global agenda in order to realise the interconnection between human rights and economic development, and reverse the crystallisation of inequality and re-invigorate human dignity in development. Ultimately, the true implementation of human rights into the systems and processes of development requires a broad vision of solidarity between all states. Furthermore, as an overarching theme of the subsequent recommendations, States need to understand and acknowledge their responsibility and obligation to promote and protect human rights within their borders, regardless of background and culture. This needs to be constantly and consistently assessed and supported by greater authorities. Furthermore, this responsibility should extend to a prioritisation and protection of the role of civil society without limitations. Activists should not be demonised within societies but viewed as catalysts to social change and human rights realisation. 1.3.1 Recommendation 1: •

There is a necessity for greater institutional links within the United Nations and between other international and national organisations, for greater articulation and fluidity in the implementation of human rights in all practices concerning the right to development. There also needs to be a means to assess performance within these structures.

At the 32nd Session of the Human Right Council, many states acknowledged the lack of a coherent communication system between different branches within the Human Rights Council and wider UN bodies. It is this deficit which ultimately hinders the ability to promote and institutionalise human rights in domestic policies in a multidisciplinary way. Human Rights are not confined to one area of policy, and if treated so will be limited accordingly. This calls for a greater awareness of the different liaisons between UN bodies and the most efficient way to do this. This is due to the fact that there is a shared responsibility between all institutions and states to promote and implement human rights in a developmental context. There is a necessity to fuse the capacities of different states and institutions to ensure a comprehensive system by which human rights can be monitored. The case of Burundi was mentioned in the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council by the Delegate of Libya as an example of a lack of recognition of the Council’s obligation to implement measures to prevent further breakdown and human rights abuses, despite the Council being in full knowledge of the events. Article 4.2 (UNGA 1986) recognises that “sustained action is required to promote more rapid development of developing countries. As a complement to the efforts of developing countries, effective international cooperation is essential in providing these countries with appropriate means and facilitates to foster their comprehensive development”. From this two important aspects can be derived. Primarily, responses to either humanitarian crisis - demonstrated in the case of Burundi - or economic breakdown cannot be temporary mandates; response from authorities such as the UN must be long term plans that will not only help a state recover from crisis, but subsequently grow. This will guarantee the sustained protection and rehabilitation of those whose human rights were compromised during the crisis. Secondly, article 4.2 demonstrates the necessity of the Council's obligation to give tailored support to developing countries, are they are systematically hindered in their abilities to support and uphold human rights in their pursuit of development. It is the Council’s responsibility in its articulation of the Right to Development to ensure through its institutions that the means to uphold human rights can be facilitated in every state, regardless of its economic strength and in mindfulness of its unique capacities. 1.3.2 Recommendation 2: •

Mainstreaming human rights within the UN system would help prevent human rights 7


violations and enable prompt responses to different crisis.

Following the previous recommendation, by mainstreaming human rights within the UN system, so it became a core goal of the UN’s mandate as opposed to an additional element of its work, there would be more fluidity and efficiency in the UN’s ability to respond to violations. In reaffirming the Council’s commitment to human rights and therefore in the UN as a whole, the fair and equal distribution of rights worldwide may seen a less daunting progress if viewed as a pursuit of all global institutions and not just a body of states. This calls for a strategy within the human rights council to guarantee the proliferation of human rights throughout all institutions, to enable prompt responses but most critically a pre-emptive system by which human rights compliancy is constantly assessed, and governments are held accountable by not only institutions but also individuals who have been able to fully realise their rights. In order to do this, similarly in reference to the differentiation between the setting out of goals and their implementation, by reducing the gap between global long-term goals and realistic short-term targets, we can do so much more in enforcing human rights. This is in keeping with the practical reality of the Right to Development; the recognition of international and national obstacles and calling for ways to overcome this using multidisciplinary institutions. 1.3.3 Recommendation 3: •

By focusing on not only the outcomes of human rights policy but the process by which these outcomes can be achieved we can ensure that no rights are compromised in developmental strategy, and ensure that more sustainable solutions are built in response to human rights violations so that they aren’t repeated.

Mr Mihir Kanade, Head of the Department of International Law and Human Rights and Director at the UN-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, emphases that whilst respecting the policy space of states in their implementation of their development priorities uses their own mechanisms, we do also need to focus on how these priorities are achieved (HRC 2016). It is well understood that human rights are put aside and regarded as a consequence of growth as opposed to a means, therefore the Council must be better in application of these basic rights so that they are fully articulated in the Right to Development doctrine, so that state’s understand that development and human rights are mutually enforcing as opposed to the latter hindering the former. Without the guarantee of human rights protection during developing process, most especially in developing countries, many countries in the global south are getting left behind, and not enabling their citizens right to self determination and sovereignty over their own wealth and resources.

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2- BASIC NEEDS The proliferation this approach in the 1970s created an understanding based on the idea that basic needs “include certain minimum requirements of a family for private consumption: adequate food, shelter and clothing… certain household equipment and furniture… essential services provided by and for the community at large, such as safe drinking water, sanitation, public transport, and health and educational facilities” (ILO, 1977: 32). This is built on the idea of the dignity of the human, and that the international community, particularly the Human Rights Council is responsible for full inclusion and leaving no one behind. 2.1 The development issues and problems: If the dignity of the human and the ethos to ‘leave no-one behind’ is a central idea within the Right to Development, the reality of the issue presents the future of the programme with serious hurdles. In 2012 the World Bank estimated that 12.7% of the population lived at or below $1.90 a day, which is 896 million people (World Bank, 2016). This is conducive to the reality of the amount of people worldwide who cannot sufficiently access everything they need to fulfil their basic needs. It is impossible to imagine a scenario in the current climate by which the Right to Development could be fully exercised if 896 million people still live at or below $1.90 a day. This shows a relationship between basic needs and development that is directly correlative. 2.2 Diagnosis of the problem: The key issue is the lack of an institutionalised method to ensure that all basic needs are provided in an indiscriminate form. For example, women constitute 70% of the people who live in poverty (Piovesan, 2016). The ‘Feminization of Poverty’, demonstrates that the burden of poverty which is predominantly borne on women in developing countries, is not only a consequence of the lack of income, but also due to the deprivation of female capabilities which is institutionalised in government systems and societal traditions (Chant, 2006). This places huge limitations of women’s ability to access their basic needs, and an inability to lead a long and healthy life with respect and dignity, from a poverty of opportunities and choices (Fukuda-Parr, 1999). It is argued that the right to development could be better realised if there was a direct move to empower more women within societies, by giving them better institutional and grassroots support in obtaining their basic needs. It is important here to cite the Declaration of the Right to Development, which confirms “that the right to development is an inalienable human right and that equality of opportunity for development is a prerogative both of nations and of individuals who make up nations” (UNGA, 1986). This accentuates the necessity of an indiscriminate system by which everyone can realise their human rights, and in this case their basic needs. There is a shared responsibility. Rai argues that this could be done through a realisation of the necessity to shift from ideas of growth in development to those of a fulfilment of basic needs (Rai, 2001: 58-59). Poverty is a key indication of the inability of people to meet their own basic needs, therefore there needs to be a greater focus on the realisation of basic needs in development as opposed to growth. As previously explores, the economic connotations associated with growth often elude to mass industrial projects which put key elements such as human rights and basic needs on the back burner until what they define as growth has been realised. Therefore, it cannot be argued that by taking care of growth, poverty is also being taken care of. Redistribution does not take care of itself. Furthermore, there are grave multidimensional factors of poverty, which also makes it a political problem. Some developed countries see basic needs and living standards as relative to the state in question. This fundamentally undermines the universality of basic needs and the

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and living standards as relative to the state in question. This fundamentally undermines the universality of basic needs and the fundamental needs, which every individual requires for standard of life that preserves the dignity of the human. 2.3 Measure to remove the issue (Recommendations): 2.3.1 Recommendation 1: •

Necessity of a full assessment of the issue of provision, and facilitate accordingly.

If a lack of socio-economic access contributes to human rights violations, then it is necessary for the Human Rights Council to increase its role in helping states to reach their responsibility to support individuals and communities. This will subsequently contribute to the prevention. The Ugandan Delegate to the Human Rights Council on the 14th June 2016 argued that more attention should given to the role of capacity building and technical assistance, and this in turn would support more individuals reaching their basic needs, which would aid the development of a nation state as a whole. It is the responsibility of the Council to aid those states that are unable to put in place the origins of structural plans that would aid this. The right to development has - in writing - established that development, peace and security, and human rights are all mutually enforcing (UNGA, 1986). However, without the effective implementation and the guaranteed right to development, many countries in the global south are ultimately left behind. Problems of inequality can also exacerbate the different levels and capacities for supporting development. Therefore there needs to be a state-by-state assessment of state capability for provision, and subsequent support from the council based on these results. 2.3.2 Recommendation 2: •

A movement from ideas about growth in a purely economic sense, to the fulfilment of basic human needs (Rai, 2001: 58-59) and a reinvigoration of the universality of basic needs.

As previously mentioned in the diagnosis, Rai argues that there needs to be a shift in the paradigm of which we assess growth and development. There is a relationship between low income and low capability (Sen, 1999: 99-107), therefore by viewing access to basic needs as a cause of this problem, we empower individuals rather than overlooking their struggles and focusing on the means to grow the economy. The former is a prerequisite for the latter. As will be mentioned later in this report, if purely focusing on the growth of an economy as a guarantor of development, we ignore the consequences of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and repatriation of profits back to developed states if we push a developing economy in ways that are not sustainable. Fundamentally, these practices have historically ignored the human rights and basic needs of individuals. Therefore, the Human Rights Council needs to bring the right to development in practice back to growth as a fulfilment of basic human needs and not purely economic statistics. Article 2:3 (UNGA, 1986) argues “States have the right and the duty to formulate appropriate national development policies that aim at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals, on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of the benefits resulting therefrom”. Purely economic measurements often ignore elements of this article. The issue of relativity was mentioned in the Human Rights Council’s 32nd session arguing, “some progress has been made in global efforts towards realising the vision on the 1986 United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development (General Assembly Resolution 41/128). Yet,

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progress has been uneven, particularly for people in Africa, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states.” (HRC, 2016). If development has been long established as a duty, not a privilege. Therefore the idea of ‘charity’ must be removed from developed countries’ lexis's surrounding the issue, and basic needs must be seen as a right of human beings everywhere, with no trade offs or compromises. 2.3.3Recommendation 3: •

Participation of people in decision-making whose lives have been affected by poor growth strategies, and self-management of development projects as an important part of the basic needs agenda.

It is perplexing that often those making developmental decisions for developing countries are bodies and individuals with no real stake or awareness in the needs or procedures that are unique to the state in question. Therefore, it is recommended that is heightened participation and consultation with people directly impacted by development procedure, as this will make the pursuit of the right to development as a universal norm better targeted and more efficient, as it takes into consideration first-hand examples of where resources and capacity building could be best targeted. By talking to members of remote communities and marginalised groups, there is the assurance that development will spread to the most remote of places.

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3- MARGINALISED GROUPS 3.1The development issues and problems: To exemplify the similarity in nature between the basic needs of development and human rights explained in the previous section we shall examine the effect of marginalised groups on development and human rights we will use a small case study in order to illustrate this. The issue of marginalization is twofold, on a macro level, countries are side lined from development as the process of globalization is unequal. The second dimension to this issue of marginalization comes from within countries, where certain groups are not allowed access to development and their human rights are violated. As we have established, the nature of basic development and of human rights is very similar hence deprivation of even one of the two necessarily means deprivation of both (Art 1.0 UNGA 1986). Human rights are often seen as a trade off for development – countries infringe upon the rights of their populations in order to pursue rapid industrialization and access to global markets (Chang, 2003). The main responsibility for safeguarding the human rights of its citizens lies with the state. The question we encounter is ‘who does the state consider a citizen worthy of a full set of human rights?’ certain groups based on, for example, gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc. are often not considered ‘citizens’ hence it eludes its responsibilities to their access to development and their fundamental human rights. This contrasts with the Declaration on the Right to Development where it is stated that the state must ensure the right to development to its whole populations and to all individuals (Art 1.3 UNGA 1986). What we find is a fundamental tension between the country specific approach required for development and the universal nature of human rights. The problem that results from this is a cyclical process: the lack of socio-economic access of some societal groups contributes to the violation of their human rights. The violation of the human rights of certain sectors of society in turn hinders the process of development (Sen, 1999), (Mitchell, and Mc Cormick, 1997). 3.2 Diagnosis of the problem: The right to development in many cases remains aspirational and un-implementable. Whole sectors of society are excluded from human rights and the development process – using the example of women on which there is much research. It is statistically proven that allowing women to access their basic needs and to contribute to the economy aids the development process (Nussbaum and Glover, 1997). Women who are well educated, healthy and have an income, become active participants in the economy, in politics and in culture (Kristof, WuDunn, 2009). Groups of the population such as women, indigenous populations, the LGBT amongst others community are statistically still more likely to live under the poverty line than any other groups. Adverse social conditions such as marginalization, or worse, persecution contribute to their precarious situations (World Bank, 2016). In the report on the economic costs and development impact of the exclusion of the LGBT community conducted by the World Bank the case study of India is used to exemplify this point. Even though not all the costs of violating human rights due to homophobia are quantified, they estimate that behaviours such as violence, imprisonment and discrimination lead to lower access to education, lower productivity and poorer health (World Bank, 2012). This in turn lessens economic output and the human capital of the country, in the case of India they estimated that 1.7% of GDP was lost due to the infringements upon the human rights of the LGBT community, in other words, cica 30.8 Billion USD (World Bank, 2012). This problem, however, is not exclusive to India and occurs in many developing countries. Access to healthcare is especially important for the LGBT community in countries with epidemics of AIDS

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and leads to a high mortality rate in young people (UNAIDS, 2012). This is an overall hindrance to development as lack of access to education, health etc. mean these groups do not contribute to a healthy and educated workforce necessary for economic development. The perceived trade – off hence is proven incorrect. Economic development stunts if human rights and the right to development (economic, cultural and social) are not respected. Rapid industrialization raises economic indicators, but an educated, innovative and healthy workforce is vital to sustainable development (Sen, 1999). Hence, as stated by the UN, development is not only economic. There is a focus on economic and industrial development which ignores social, cultural and political development which are just as important. One cannot successfully be achieved without the other – economic development will be stunted if the population is not allowed to express itself culturally and socially, there will be less creativity and innovation. 3.3 Measure to remove the issue (Recommendations): Recommendation 1: •

The UN should reiterate the importance of allowing all countries to develop and members’ responsibility in assisting in this endeavour to ensure no countries are left behind as stated in Article 3 of the Declaration on the Right to Development.

Recommendation 2: •

UN should further endeavour to protect human rights defenders and organizations who are aiming to protect/ represent marginalized groups right to development. The need for more research to produce evidence and data to stress to politicians the economic and social importance of addressing, for example, LGBT issues should be reiterated by the UN.

Recommendation 3: •

Representatives of marginalized groups must be given a seat at the negotiation table for development programmes if the state is said to be failing to represent them fairly.

Recommendation 4: •

Provide country specific development aid but reiterate that the basic needs for development are practically the same as basic human rights - universal. In order to ensure this strict human rights clauses should be included in development aid to empower these key populations and hence facilitate the development process of said country as a whole. In order to do this there should be a distinct focus on capacity building and helping with provision of these basic needs to all sectors of the population.

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4- MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS In this section we address the interrelationship between multinational corporations and their impact on the realisation of the right to development. Globalisation has transformed the world economy strengthening the role of the corporate non-state actor. Post-2008 and the financial crash there has been increased focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and a perceived acknowledgement in Western economies that the role of multinational corporations should extend beyond profit- maximisation and shareholder priorities. 4.1 The development issues and problems: The discussions held at this year’s 32nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva highlighted the harmful impact of poverty and crude forms of economic development on the realisation of human rights and the right to development. Existing trading and developmental structures have thus far impeded the capacity of states to exercise their right to development. By acknowledging the rapid pace of globalisation and shifting corporate practices within the world economy we recognise the need for reconciliation between human rights and international industrial practices. 4.2 Diagnosis of the problem: International organisations such as the IMF, the OECD, the WTO, and the World Bank have served to strengthen the position of MNCs within both domestic and international structures. This has translated into considerable influence in shaping national policies consistent with corporate interests. In doing so MNCs have often undermined the realisation of social and economic rights (as protected under the ICESCR, 1966) which thus inhibits any fulfilment of right to development obligations (Aguirre, 2004). Additionally, international actors have often favoured a cost-benefit focus when assessing developmental policies. Human rights advocates have often criticised costbenefit driven analyses calculating long-term aggregate outcomes as they tend to dismiss violations of individual rights as short-term losses or simply as ‘collateral damage’ (ICHRP, 2010). These imbalances therefore create unsustainable development forsaking human rights in favour of financial improvements. We recognise the important intersection between MNCs and the role they play in the protection and realisation of human rights especially the right to development. Case studies such as oil extraction in Nigeria and other resource-dependent countries demonstrate the limitations of existing right to development obligations as they relate to business. The following four recommendations seek to redress imbalances in the global economic system and encourage MNCs to become engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, focusing particularly on how MNCs can respect the right to development. 4.3 Measure to remove the issue (Recommendations): 4.3.1 Recommendation 1: •

MNCs should fully develop and implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in order to engage with human rights and capacity building in resourcedependent countries.

Countries that rely on capital generated by MNCs (as is the case for example in Nigeria and the

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oil extraction sector) sustain a legacy of third world dependency where Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) are disproportionately dependent on private economic actors. Economic development may at best be maintained but social and cultural development have been left behind. In Nigeria, MNCs aim to obtain full property rights over oil fields and mines for a ‘competitive advantage’ (Hackett, 2016). This is significant as in these cases there is no incentive for the state and local communities to develop and improve land (and other natural resources) owing to a lack of ownership rights. Therefore, it is the responsibility of MNCs to engage with anti- corruption measures and (as an example) in the case of Nigeria incorporate sustainable oil extraction into its CSR strategy (Hackett, 2016). At present there are no real pressures for MNCs to be socially responsible. Additionally, host states tend to offer ‘short- termist’ solutions to systemic problems of corruption and distrust in order to avoid negative responses from the private sector. As we have previously asserted all human rights are interdependent, and without complete protection and promotion of such rights by all member states, development will inevitably be stunted. We therefore encourage MNCs to engage actively with CSR policies with the aim of fulfilling a combination of economic, social, political, cultural and environmental benefits. 4.3.2 Recommendation 2: •

International organisations and states should present the ‘business case’ to MNCs for the respect and promotion of the right to development and human rights more widely.

In dialogue with MNCs, states and international actors should appeal to the motive of profit maximisation in order to demonstrate the importance of reinvestment in development and capacity building in host states where MNCs conduct operations. It is imperative to recognise the significant capacity of international businesses to promote and engender change. Rather than viewing this approach as a concession, appealing to corporate interests is an optimal way of encouraging MNC engagement with CSR policies and the promotion of the right to development. The following details five key components of the ‘business case’ that both state and non-state actors may posit in order to encourage MNCs to implement CSR initiatives (Hackett, 2016): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Maintaining a competitive advantage within the industry Having a healthy workforce Having a safe working environment for that workforce Managing perceptions Maintaining good relations with the local communities and with government

4.3.3 Recommendation 3: •

MNCs must cooperate and work with host states to combat corruption and gaps in accountability.

The legacy of corruption creates an environment of distrust and fragmentation. This inhibits the right to development beyond the economic. MNCs have often pressured governments to create international investment, trade and tax laws that are advantageous to business by exploiting weak regulatory systems where the poorest are at the highest risk of exploitation. Consequently, these corporations argue against any progression in international human rights law that affect those business interests (Amnesty International, n.d.). This reflects an accountability gap that needs to be addressed. All MNCs should be legally required to take steps to identify and address human rights abuses (known as due diligence) and must accommodate governments in this process. Additionally, companies should be held to account for any abuses committed. MNCs can further

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support governmental efforts to combat corruption and concerns of accountability by accommodating the development of stronger regulatory systems. 4.3.4 Recommendation 4: •

Further regulation should require negotiations prior to bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to consider how such agreements impact structural capacity building within states.

The 32nd session of the Human Rights Council emphasised the role multilateral trade agreements in fostering economic development and growth in developing countries. Bilateral and multilateral trade agreements indeed can integrate developing economies into international trading and financial systems. However, trade and investment policies that are harmful to building structural capacity within developing states (such as trade preferences set for non- traditional export goods) can serve to sustain economic imbalances. Agreements should take place on the grounds that the developing economy in question is able to strengthen its structural capacity so it can fully benefit from trade and growth. The European Union for example can achieve this by passing directives that ensure fairer trading negotiations and conditions. Public regulation is absolutely essential otherwise the private sector will be the determinant of trading rules (Stevens, 2005).

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CONCLUSION This report has highlighted three main factors, which we hope that the Human Rights Council will consider and assimilate into its policy as it takes the Right to Development into its next 30 years. Firstly, there is a necessity to move the Declaration of the Right to Development from its rhetorical basis into a practical setting. This report has strived to emphasise the discrepancy and inconsistency between what is discussed in the Council in Geneva, and what is implemented in subsequent policy throughout different institutions. It becomes very difficult for this diluted policy to be effectively implemented in domestic government systems. Despite successful origins, any sound policies are lost through poor implementation and lack of long-term monitoring mechanisms. Secondly, Human rights and the dignity of the individual should be at the heart of the pragmatic solutions that the global community forms. If this is applied as a central principle of all policy decisions regarding the right to development, the individual will be more empowered in the development process and not victim to human rights violations as a consequence of quick-growth methods. Thirdly, the Right to Development is a universal and indiscriminate entity, and therefore all state capacity building should reflect that, whether that concerns the relationships between developed and developing states or between those structurally more advantaged or disadvantaged within societies. This can be borne from a move to establish principles that persuades a greater realisation of development for a whole state when all individuals in society have access to structurally empowering entities. The Right to Development in a vital tool in the proliferation of human rights and higher living standards on a global scale, if its capabilities are successfully harnessed using all of the mechanisms available to the Human Rights Council and the wider organs of the United Nation’s body.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Amnesty International. (N.d.). Corporations: Corporate Accountability. www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/corporate-accountability/ [accessed online: 02/07/ 2016] Aguirre, D. (2004). Multinational Corporations and the Realisation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. California Western International Law Journal, 35(1), Article 3. Badhwar, N. (1997). Women, Culture and Development: A Study of Human Capabilities. Martha Nussbaum Jonathan Glover. Ethics, 107(4), pp.725-729 Chang, H. (2003). Rethinking development economics. London: Anthem Press. Chant, S. (2006) Re-thinking the “Feminization of Poverty” in relation to aggregate gender indices. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. Special issue: Revisiting the Genderrelated Development Index (GDI) and Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). Taylor and Francis 7(2) pp. 201-220. Fukuda-Parr, S. (1999) What does feminization of poverty mean? It isn’t just a lack of income. Feminist Economics. Taylor and Francis. 5(2) pp. 99-103 Hackett, C. (2016) The challenge of MNCs and development: oil extraction, CSR, Nigeria and corruption. Journal of Human Rights in the Commonwealth. 2(2). Human Rights Council (2016) Panel discussion on the promotion and protection of the right to development. Commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development. 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council. 13th June. International Council on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) (2010). Human Rights in the Global Economy: Report from a Colloquium. International Labour Organisation (1977) Rural women and the basic needs approach to development. Ingrid Palmer. International Labour Review, Vol 115(1) No. 1. January-February. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide - by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. (2009). Ethics & International Affairs, 23(4), pp.432-433. McCormick, J. and Mitchell, N. (1997). Human Rights Violations, Umbrella Concepts, and Empirical Analysis. World Pol., 49(04), pp.510-525 Piovesan, F. (2016) - Secretary for Human Rights at the Ministry for Justice for Brazil. H.E. Ms Flavia Piovesan opening remarks 15th June 2016 - need to find written reference. Rai, Shirin (2001) “Chapter 2: Gender and Development - Theoretical Perspectives in Context” from Rai, Shirin, Gender and the political economy of development: from nationalism to globalisation. Pp. 44-83, Malden, Mass: Polity Press. Stevens, C. (2005). Impacts and Challenges of Multilateral and Bilateral Trade Agreements on Africa. African Development Bank. Economic Research Working Paper (79). Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. New York: Knopf

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AFI Changemakers at the UN - The Right to Development 2016  

This report on the Right to Development was carried out following the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council taking into consideration...

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