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, <email@example.com>) have
successfully done this and are proactively convincing others to do
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.
Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `firstname.lastname@example.org'.
Mail administrative requests to `email@example.com'.
For additional assistance, send mail to: `firstname.lastname@example.org'.