CCCI - Flash
Fall 2008

Human Rights

The Great Leveller
By Gerry Barr




Welcome to the inaugural edition of the new e-Au Courant.

We hope you enjoy the new accessibility, illustrations and links to further resources and reading.


The theme of this issue is human rights – not so much human rights as a self-evident good, but human rights as the fundamental ingredient for strategies to eradicate poverty, to advance equality, development and democracy.

Fulfillment of human rights like gender equality, political rights, or freedom of speech and association, has been shown, time and again, to advance the course of development like nothing else. It does so because it legitimizes and authenticates choices, ensuring that those most affected are those most involved. Any serious strategy for development, must be built on a firm foundation of recognition of rights.


When primacy is given to human rights in a development strategy it transforms the relationships of all involved, leveling the playing field, highlighting inequities of power and resources that undermine effective decision-making. What’s more, a human rights approach to development provides a strong legal basis for populations mobilizing to address their own needs. It is truly the way of the future.


This issue of e-Au Courant, elaborates on these ideas. It draws on the experience of CCIC, some of our member organizations, and Southern partners to underline the importance and potency of a human rights framework for approaching poverty eradication and development. There is a sea change in aid relationships, a shift that will see the key role CSOs play in ensuring aid is effective, recognized and built into the global “aid architecture”.


We hope you find the issue provocative and stimulating.


Read on!


Gerry Barr

Canadian Council for International Co-operation

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