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Development and human rights: lessons learned from the MDGs

This briefing reviews some of the major current challenges and longer-term opportunities for civil society organizations in advancing human rights through development processes and explores strategies for more concerted action across the human rights and development communities.

It suggests that to fulfill the MDGs, civil society organizations need to work with others to more broadly question the current economic development model and promote economic alternatives. Human rights principles can provide the normative content to enable citizens to identify and promote the best economic alternatives.

The briefing offers a review of a number of important alternative policy proposals both for national economic development and a new development model as well as for a more stable and just global economy, and why advocates for the MDGs should support them. It also provides some suggestions for how human rights and MDG advocates can use several processes and upcoming summits as tools and opportunities to develop a rights-based approach to economic policy making and propose alternative development policies.