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Development and Human Rights

The systematic and explicit promotion of human rights is an essential part of development cooperation. This applies in equal measure to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Human rights constitute an internationally agreed normative basis and provide a binding framework for development goals. They create an accountability obligation for donor states and states that are recipients of aid.

A view of poverty as a human rights issue focuses on inclusion and non-discrimination and state obligation to realize human rights. This make for a more differentiated approach to development cooperation. At the same time, a human rights perspective strengthens participatory processes and lends them a legal dimension. Target groups of development programmes not only have needs but also rights – rights to freedom, equality and participation.

Current projects:

  • Implementing human rights in development cooperation
    Under the auspices of a project being conducted by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) we offer human rights training for development practitioners. As an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations, the federally owned Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the German Government in achieving its development-policy objectives.


Reading Tip

Deutsche Geschellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (2013): Promising Practices - On a human rights-based approach in German development cooperation. GIZ, 26 p.

Deutsche Geschellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (2011): National Human Rights Institutions. GIZ, 10 p.

Andrea Kämpf
Senior Policy Adviser
Phone: +49-30-259-359-51
Fax: +49-30-259-359-59
e-mail: kaempf(at)