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AFRO-NETS> Food for NGOs thoughts



Food for NGOs thoughts
----------------------

NGOs and Human Rights

1. In the 2001 World Development Report devoted to poverty, it is 
stated that there are limits to a micro-level approach to poverty, 
and a macro-level approach is advocated for. The latter is supposed 
to include work with and through NGOs. For this to happen comprehen-
sively, the Human Rights dimension will have to become more central. 
And this implies some changes in NGO work will have to happen.

Let me share with you my micro-comment on this macro-issue:

2. In these times of widening gaps between haves and have-nots -- be-
tween those whose rights are mostly upheld and those whose rights are 
being systematically violated -- NGOs simply cannot continue doing 
business as usual.

3. The vast majority of them are long overdue for "REVISIONING/RE-
MISSIONING EXERCISES". The latter are literally "retreats" in which 
NGO staff ask themselves:

- What are we all about? 
- In the present climate of Globalization cum pauperization (involv-
  ing a whole a chain of old and new Human Rights violations), are we
  part of the problem or part of the solution? 
- How are our activities contributing to combating these Human Rights
  violations, to combating poverty and to bringing about greater equ-
  ity in a sustainable, empowering way?

4. If NGOs do not like the ring to the answers to these questions 
(and many others like these in the same vein) well you guessed: It's 
time for them to remission their organization!

5. A few NGOs (e.g. ACHAN in Madras, India, <achan@vsnl.com>) have 
successfully done this and are proactively convincing others to do 
likewise.

6. NGOs: Get your planning going for the most important workshop you 
have held in the last x years and let the new Human Rights approach 
be at its center.

Claudio Schuftan
Hanoi, Vietnam
mailto:aviva@netnam.vn

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