Linking discourse and practice : the HRBA in the Village Assainis program in the Bas-Congo
Faculty of Law
Human rights quarterly. - Baltimore, Md, 1981, currens
, p. 1-34
University of Antwerp
This article examines the meaning and relevance of a human rights-based approach to development (HRBA) for actors on the ground. It is the first to empirically study this question. We use a new frame of analysis and new empirical material on the Bas-Congo to examine how this approach is brought into practice. The article is inspired by the widespread international acclaim for HRBAs as well as by the critical literature on this approach. We found that there is a wide gap between the conceptualization of the HRBA at the transnational level and its operationalization on the ground, but that some dimensions are less problematic than others. We argue that deficient implementation challenges the legitimacy of the HRBA and that more attention to the operationalization and implementation of this approach is needed to reap its potential benefits.