Welcome to the website that holds a big chunk of what I have published over the last 25 years. The website is easy to navigate and is self-explanatory. Unfortunately, the table of content is not hyperlinked to the actual respective texts, but the numbering corresponds to that in the respective texts in each category (Essays, Blogs and Human Rights Readers) so they will be easy to find and access.

I wish you a rewarding browsing.
Claudio in Ho Chi Minh City
You can reach me at

1. The Causes of Hunger and Malnutrition: Macro and Micro Determinants
2. Technical, Ethical and Ideological Responsibilities in Nutrition
3. De-Westernizing Health Planning and Health Care Delivery: A Political Perspective
4. Book Review: Susan George. A Fate Worse Than Debt: A radical new analysis of the Third World debt crisis (Or, the world financial crisis and the poor)
5. Viewpoint – Ethics, Ideology and Nutrition
6. Ethics And Ideology in the Battle Against Malnutrition
7. The Challenge of Feeding the People: Chile under Allende and Tanzania under Nyerere
8. The Role of Health and Nutrition in Development (Le Rôle de la Santé et de la Nutrition dans le Développement – El Papel de la Salud y la Nutrición en el Desarrollo)
9. Multidisciplinarity, Paradigms and Ideology in Development Work
10. Survey on Attitudes to Nutrition Planning
11. “Household Purchasing-Power Deficit” – A More Operational Indicator to Express Malnutrition
12. Foreign Aid and its Role in Maintaining the Exploitation of the Agricultural Sector: Evidence from a Case Study in Africa
13. Low School Performance: Malnutrition or Cultural Deprivation?
14. Hunger and Malnutrition: Outlook for Changes in the Third World
15. Viewpoint: Nutrition Planning – What Relevance to Hunger?
16. Rosalia
17. The Political Economy of Ill Health and Malnutrition
18. Commentary – The Markets of Hunger: Questioning Food Aid (Non-Emergency/Long-Term)
19. Activism to Face World Hunger: Exploring New Needed Commitments
20. The Child Survival Revolution: A Critique – or Health Still Only for Some by the Year 2000?
21. Development Nemesis
Part One: Development and today’s reality
Part Two: The actors and the future of development – The era of empowerment
22. Looking Beyond the Doable: Resolutions for a New Development Decade
23. Egos/ Alter Egos of the Main Actors in Development Projects:
24. Positive Deviance in Child Nutrition: a Discussion
25. The Project Approach in Development Assistance
26. Triage Management in Third World Health Ministries
27. On Behalf of the African Child: Challenges and Windows of Opportunity for the Donor Community.
28. The Household Entitlements Revolution or a Women-Centered Approach to Family Security
29. Brave New World: A Political Pendulum in Search of its Balance
30. Malnutrition and Income: Are We Being Misled? (A Dissenting View with a Confusing Literature)
31. A Path for the 1990s?: Government-Donor Partnership to Finance PHC in the Third World
32. Downsizing the Civil Service in Developing Countries: The Golden Handshake Option Revisited.
33. The World Declaration on Nutrition and the 1992 International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) Plan of Action: The Cutting Edge of Conventional Thinking.
34. Income Generation Activities for Women, the Ninth Essential Element of Primary Health Care? An Idea Whose Time has Come!
35. Some Reflections on ACC/SCN’s ‘How Nutrition Improves’
36. Nutritional Goals for the Mid-Nineties: A Call for Advocacy and Action
37. A. The Emerging Sustainable Development Paradigm: A Global Forum on the Cutting Edge of Progressive Thinking
37. B. Sustainable Development beyond Ethical Pronouncements: the Role of Civil Society and Networking
38. Foreign Aid: Giving Conditionalities a Good Name or Conditionalities: the Launching of a South-South Counter-Offensive
39. The Community Development Dilemma: when are Service Delivery, Capacity Building, Advocacy and Social Mobilisation really Empowering?
40. Development in the Mid 1990s: Reflections of an Old Socialist
41. Book Review: Questioning the solution -The politics of primary health care and child survival with an in-depth critique of oral rehydration therapy
42. Equity In Health and Nutrition and the Globalization of the World’s Economy
43. A. Different Challenges in Combating Micronutrient Deficiencies and Combating Protein Energy Malnutrition, or the Gap Between Nutrition Engineers and Nutrition Activists
43. B. Micronutrient Deficiencies and Protein-Energy Malnutrition
44. Northern-Led Development: is it Selling Technical Fixes to Solve the Problems of Ill-Health and Malnutrition?
45. Actions and Activism in Fostering Genuine Grassroots Participation in Health and Nutrition
46. Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Development.
47. New Perspectives, Old Risks: our Need to Change and to Reconceptualize or Reemphasizing the Need to Tackle the Causes of Poverty in the Battle against Ill-Health and Malnutrition
48. Health Sector Reform Measures: Are they Working?… And where do we go from here?
49. On Development, the Real World, Power Games and the Ugly Faces of Greed (Food for thought about a state of mind).
50. So What… in Search of the ‘Big Picture’ in Development (Food for a depressive thought)
51. Can Significantly Greater Equity be Achieved through Targeting?: An Essay on Poverty, Equity and Targeting in Health and Nutrition. (Food for a targetter’s thought)
52. Globalization, or the Fable of the Mongoose and the Snake (Fableous food for thought)
53. Elements for a Nutrition Activism Course and Curriculum*
54. The Role of Human Rights in Politicizing Development Ethics, Development Assistance and Development Praxis
55. A Letter to the Student Erica who is Planning to Specialize in International Nutrition
56. Food for a Capitalist thought – Book Review – The Lugano Report: On Preserving Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century
57. Food for Finding where Your Thoughts Are – Variations on a Theme by the Chilean Writer Isabel Allende
58. Remembering
59. Letter to The Lancet – Draft 2 IMCI: An Initiative in Need of a New Name, a Greater Community-Centered Focus, and a Grassroots Mandate
60. Food for Planning the Right Human Thoughts – Human Rights Based Planning: The New Approach
61. Food for an Ombudsman’s Thought – On Health Sector Reform, Health and Poverty and Other Herbs
62. What does the New UN Human Rights Approach Bring to the Struggle of the Poor?
63. Food for a Poor Thought on Health and Poverty – Health a Precious Asset, But Not ‘A New and Potentially Powerful Exit Route from Poverty’
64. Food for a Poor Thought on Attacking Poverty – The WB’s World Development Report 2000/2001 or the Trivialization of the Concept of “Empowerment”
65. Human Rights or the Importance of Being Earnest: A Personal Account
66. AID and Reform in Africa: Lessons from Ten Case Studies, Final Report
67. Food for Thought About a State of Mind (2) – On Morality, Freedom, Choices, Justice and the Need for People’s Power
68. Thinking Loud – On Statistics
69. Health and Human Rights Readers (see elsewhere in the website)
70. Aiming at the Target: What’s Left for the Devil to Advocate?
71. ‘Elemental Watson’: The Health Sector Reform’s faulty logic
72. Putting Equity and Human Rights in Health on the Agenda: The Role of NGOS
73. Money is Tinted by the Colour from where it comes from or Children are not an Issue of Charity, Ronald! They are a Matter of Justice
74. Some Pearls of Wisdom about Health care Financing
75. Beyond Capacity Analysis: Additional Elements of a Human Rights-based Development Strategy
76. Stepping into the New Age of the Right to Adequate Nutrition: Snail Pace Progress?
77. Poverty Reduction and National Budgets
78. Missing …..
79. Optional Health Care Financing Mechanisms for third World Countries: What is Viable?
80. The Peoples Health Movement: A People’s Campaign for Health for All – Now!
81. Towards the Millennium Development Goals: Yes, but…
82. Book Review: Dignity Counts: A Guide to Using Budget Analysis to Advance Human Rights
83. The Human Rights Discourse in Health
84. Food and Nutrition 2005: The Human Rights Perspective
85. A True Jewel in the Annals of Social Medicine: Young Allende’s eEarly LegacyYes I do
86. Replaced by another version. A Primer for a National Action Plan to Operationalise the Right to Health Care (within the broader framework of the Right to Health)
87. Is the Gap in Policy Processes towards better Food Security and Nutrition Interventions Mainly a Gap Between Knowledge and Action?
88. Our Role as Nutritionists in the Call by the World Bank to Put Nutrition at the Centre of Development
89. A guided Tour Through Key Principles and Issues of the Human Rights-based Framework.
90. How Does the Human Rights-based Approach Change Development Ethics and Development Praxis?
91. The Assessment of te Right to Health Care and the Challenges in Asia.
92. Gender Equality is not Just a Women’s Issue, But a Development and a Human Rights Issue.
93. Ethical and Political Responsibilities in our Work in Health.
94. Ethics and Ideology in the Context of Health.
95. Thirty Questions the World Health Organization is not Asking –but Should–When Preparing the World Health Report 2008 on Primary Health Care.
96. An Ethical Question: Are Health Professionals Promoters of Status-quo or of Social Change?
97. Making Nutrition and Health More Equitable Within Inequitable Societies.
98. The Right to Health: A People’s Health Movement Perspective and Case Study.


1. Bill Gates and Big Food.
2. Agitation: Divided we will fall.
3. Food riots.
4. Rising food prices.
5. Food price crises.
6. Nutrition and sustainable development.
7. Hunger: The big picture.
8. On food sovereignty.
9. How nutrition improves.
10. The MDGs: For whom and for what?
11. The right to food and nutrition.
12. Philanthropic foundations as masters.
13. The MDGs.
14. Micronutrients and protein-energy malnutrition.
15. On Health For All.
16. Nutrition visions for this century.
17. ICN2: the real issues are being evaded.
18. Food systems critique.
19. Bill Gates and Big Food 2.
20. The lancet piece on nutrition: Just technical fixes.
21. Big Food Watch.
22. On Eduardo Galeano.
23. McDonalds now in Vietnam.
24. Why refer to food and nutrition.
25. The People’s Health Movement.
26. Philathrocapitalism.
27. Homage to Cicely Williams.
28. On equity and equality.
29. Big Food and the World Economic Forum.
30. Shortcomings of the SDGs.
31. Safety nets and the SUN Initiative.
32. The equality-equity controversy.
33. Swarmed by data.
34. Fundamental public health nutrition.
35. The political economy of malnutrition.
36. New vision for WHO.
37. Malnutrition and technical fixes.
38. Equity in an inequitable world.
39. Visionaries in health and nutrition.
40. Scaling Up Nutrition: Really putting nutrition at the center of development?
41. Nutritionists and globalization.
42. Homage to Urban Jonsson.

Human Rights Readers: Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Human Rights or the Importance of Being Earnest: A Personal Account.
3. The Sixteen Groups of Human Rights.
4. Human Rights Based Planning: The New Approach.
5, 6, 7+8. What Does the New UN Human Rights Approach Bring to the Struggle of the Poor?
9, 10, 11+12. The Role of Human Rights in Politicizing Development Ethics, Development Assistance and Development Praxis.
13. On the Role of the State, the UN and Civil Society.
14. Health, Human Rights and Donors.
15. Arguments in Favor of an Empowering Community Capacity Building in Health.
16. Short Discussion Topics.
17. Elements for a Human Rights Activists Course and Curriculum.
18. Some Pearls of Wisdom about Health Care Financing.
19. Health Sector Reform and the Unmet Needs of the Poor: A Critique.
20. On Development, the Real World, Power Games and the Ugly Faces of Greed.
21. On Morality, Freedom, Choices, Justice and the Need for People’s Power.
22. Variations on a Theme by the Chilean Writer Isabel Allende.
23. On Statistics.
24. Food for NGOs Thoughts.
25. Food for Donors Thoughts.
26. Caveat Emptor: A Participatory Approach is not a Human Rights Approach!
27. Development and Rights: The Undeniable Nexus.
28. On the Role of the State, the UN and Civil Society.
29. On Vulnerability, Access and Discrimination.
30. Potpourri.
31. Human Rights and South-South Cooperation.
32. A Call for Substance and Networking.
33. Human Rights are Very Much on the Agenda of Development Work.
34. Rights are Guaranteed Entitlements: Right?
35. Charity is Obscene from a Human Rights Perspective.
36. Perspectives on Human Rights: Furthering the Debate.
37+38. Putting Equity and Human Rights in Health on the Agenda: The Role of NGOs.
39. Social Exclusion and Human Rights.
40+41. Beyond Capacity Analysis: Additional Elements of a Human Rights-Based Development Strategy.
42. On Capacity Building Needs: The Macro Issues in Human Rights.
43. The Ideological Neutrality of Human Rights is its Greatest Strength, but its Proponents should not be Neutral in Engaging to Achieve Them.
44. An Introduction to Children’s Rights.
45. Globalization, Health Rights and Health Sector Reform: Implication for Future Health Policy.
46+47 Stepping into the New Age of the Right to Adequate Nutrition: Snail Pace Progress?
48. A Case of Logic – The Human Rights Advocacy Syllogism.
49. The Difference Between Project and Process is Ownership. Human Rights Cannot be Implemented as a Project.
50. NGOs should not be Human Rights Blind and Should be Judged by their Politics.
51. The Need to Struggle is Actually a Built-in Principle of Human Rights Work.
52. The Law is the Law…and Human Rights are not yet the Law.
53. Human Rights are Universal, but the Risk of Having One’s Rights Violated Is Not.
54. Some Well Known and Some Less Well Known Aspects of Human Rights Work.
55. Human Rights Violations are Part of a Social Disease with Historical Roots.
56. Objectivity in the Analytical Stages of the Planning Process is Nothing but a Myth.
57. We Have to Learn to Look at Totalities, Rather Than at Fragments of Reality.
58. It is Through Ideology that Society Ultimately Explains Itself.
59. Social and Economic Injustice are not an Accident.
60. As Human Rights Activists we are too often Committed to Stability as the Prerequisite for Justice…Rather than the other Way Around.
61. Projects Dreamed Up in a Social Vacuum Must Play Themselves out in the Real World of Injustice and Conflict.
62. The Political Imperative in Human Rights Work.
63. Many Among us Think that Politics is Dirty or not a Virtuous Activity.
64. Passivity Makes us Accomplices of the Status-Quo. Many of Us, with an Academic Approach to Change, Should not Forget This.
65. So, What Have We Achieved in the Last Few Years? Have We Been Using the Appropriate Strategies, Tactics and Tools in the Battle Against Human Rights Violations?
66. A Dead-End Option.
67. Why are We so Often Conciliatory when We Should be Confrontational?
68. Some Aspects of the Politics of Women’s Rights and the Politics of Empowerment.
69. A Basis to Develop a New Vision for the Future.
70. A Basis to Develop a New Praxis for the Future.
71. Remember?: Rights Mean not only Having a Right to Something, but also Claiming that Right from Appropriate Duty-Bearers.
72. The Poor and Marginalized Themselves will have to Ultimately Address the Factors that Keep them Disempowered.
73. Recapitulating: the Eight Major Differences between the Basic Needs and the Human Rights Approach to Development.
74. Five Decades of Development Assistance have Cost the World Over 1 Trillion USD: How Much in Improved Human Rights is There to Show for That?
75. More on Human Rights Workers as Activists.
76. Why Power only Yields to Counter-Power.
77. More on Leadership.
78. We Have Declared War on Poverty and Poverty has Won. (President Lyndon Johnson, 1964).
79. Human Rights and the “Weapons of Mass Deception”.
80. Asserting and Affirming Human Rights is as Conflict-Prone as it is Indispensable.
81. On NGOs and the Rights of Winners and Losers.
82. Trade, Governance and Human Rights.
83. Human Rights and the Growing ‘Gap’.
84. Development = Substantial and Steady Advancement in the Realization of all Rights.
85. Activism, Profession, Compassion and Political Solidarity.
86. Does Improving the Provision of Services Empower Poor People, or is it the Empowering of Poor People that Improves the Provision of Services?
87. Excuse the Redundancy, but the Poor are a Majority: How does This Make a Difference in our Strategies and our Everyday Work?
88. ‘Behind Human Rights are Freedoms and Needs so Fundamental that their Denial puts Human Dignity itself at Risk’. (Goldewijk & Fortman)
89. Unfortunately, Human (People’s) Rights Violations do not Call for Concrete International Sanctions.
90. Human Rights Principles: What They Mean in Practice.
91+92. The Human Rights Discourse in Health.
93. The Rise of Rights.
94. A Characterization of the Current Stage of Human Rights Work.
95. Two Non-actors in Human Rights.
96. On the Human Rights Discourse and ‘what one-is and is-not’.
97. Succeed, We Ultimately Must! If Not, Human Rights will be Relegated to Simply being an Indicator of Violations Rather than an Essential Foundation of the New Development Paradigm.
98, 99+100. A Primer for a National Action Plan to Operationalize the Right to Health Care (within the broader framework of the Right to Health).
101. NGOs: A Network of Protagonists (and denouncers of the slow progress being made) in Human Rights Work?
102. More on Poverty and Human Rights.
103. People who File Claims to Secure their Right to Health and Adequate Nutrition Cannot Wait for a Whole Generation.
104. How Aggressively Should Governments Be Put Under Pressure In The Struggle For Human Rights?
105. Is there such a thing as a fair and human-rights-sensitive (Capitalist) Globalization?
106. Feeling helpless or lost (or being used) in your work?: Adopt the Human Rights-based Approach to Development!
107+108. Always check if the Government is ‘putting its money where its mouth is’: A guide to using budget analysis to advance human rights.
109. Glossary of Human Rights Terms.
110. If I accept the responsibility that I should act, and I have the authority that I may act, and I have the resources so I can act, I can indeed be held accountable for my actions (or non-actions).
111. Before I start this poem.
112+113. The Sachs Macroeconomics and Health Report: Investing in health for economic development or increasing the size of the crumbs from the rich man’s table?
114. The Human Rights Discourse in Health (19 key statements).
115. It will be via Poverty Alleviation Programs that Human Rights will be Fulfilled.
116. Poverty does not persist solely because of incompetent, corrupt governments insensitive to the fate of their populations! No, it is at once the cause and the effect of the total or partial denial of Human Rights.
117. It is on the basis of a broken social contract and of global injustice that we speak of poverty as a human rights violation.
118. Would you consider yourself to be (at least part-time) a health and human rights activist?: A very informal and tentative quizz.
119. In human rights work, our legitimacy and authority are only as strong as they are strong in the weakest link of our own network.
120. On foreign aid, corruption, democracy and development: implications for human rights.
121. Human rights in the era of neoliberal global restructuring.
122. Using the millennium agenda as a reference point implies side-lining the human rights-based approach!
122. A rights-based approach to the MDGs.
123. People have rights even without any specific legislation saying so.
124. Human rights and the World Trade Organization.
125. Being a human rights activist is not an illusion one should lose at age 40.
126. MDGs are to (eventually) end extreme poverty, not most poverty; so, where are human rights left?
127+128. Yesterday’s future has arrived: The Post-Washington consensus only has a pitiful vague orientation towards the eradication of poverty and ill-health as human rights priorities.
129. The rights-based approach fundamentally changes the nature of state-society relations.
130. How we, HR activists, are duped: just a few examples.
131. Some questions with human rights implications that are seldom asked.
132+133. If a state has ratified a treaty, it is legally bound to implement it: a reiteration.
134. Human rights and the corridors of power.
135. “Bread and health for all before cake and circus for anyone”.
136. In human rights work, cliche thinking in terms of good and evil is not helpful at all.
137+ 138. The human rights-based approach: a distilled inventory of its essential attributes.
139. Human rights questions i wish i had concise answers for.
140. Many still think human rights are about political prisoners and street demonstrations.
141. It is not an exaggeration to say that the human rights-based approach is in a different league than other approaches to development: it is the ‘make or break’ issue of our time.
142. Human rights are no longer a-preoccupation-that-is-best-left-aside for ‘others’ to worry about.
143. Power makes even the ugliest look handsome.
144. Programs for the poor most often are poor programs: reducing the income gap between the poor and the non-poor is the real challenge for human rights activists.
146. Group rights and collective rights are not the sum of individual rights.
147. Because of their universality, sovereignty must sometimes come second to human rights.
148. From the human rights perspective, power imbalances underlie health inequities.
149. Moral progress does not exist; we are not more moral today than what we were a hundred or a thousand years ago.
150. Free trade agreements, millennium development goals, and human rights: working at cross-purposes?
151. Human rights have to be a core component of the promotion of democracy.
152 +153. Jonsson’s credo.
154. Human rights have to be transformative rather than just simply easing human suffering.
155. Public health brings a counterbalance to the individual-centered view of human rights.
156. The rich have power because of their money, and the poor have power because of their numbers and their potential for organizing around human rights principles.
157, 158, 159 +160. Exploring a critical, systemic approach to health rights.
161. Human rights obligations rich countries are not honoring.
162. Human rights and poverty alleviation.
163. Human rights have to go from the conceptual, to policy to action.
164. From a human rights perspective, public health stands at a crossroad.
165. Human rights activists are not social engineers; they are public mobilizers.
166. It is only when potential individual benefits are seen more clearly as being high that people are more willing to actively engage in work leading to the realization of their rights.
167. The recognition of human rights such as they are expressed in international instruments is not enough for their realization.
168. Do statistics serve the human rights cause well?
169. The lack of funding to carry out national or local human rights assessments should not delay us in launching them!
170. The respect of the right to health is a reflection of a society’s commitment to equity and justice.
171. More iron laws that affect human rights: use them!
172. Physical capital wears out; social capital does not. The more it is used in exercising direct democracy, e.g., to combat human rights violations, the stronger it gets.
173. Human rights violations are no longer a private affair, because they now have a political dimension.
174. Gender equality is not just a women’s issue, but a development and a human rights issue.
175. The human rights discourse is globalization-skeptic and IFIs*-skeptic.
176. The human rights discourse is also MDGs-skeptic.
177. In some cases, the human rights discourse is religion-skeptic.
178. Of claim holders, duty bearers and agents of accountability.
180. Social progress has always depended on public pressure.
181. In the development debate, the perception of poor people as people in need rather than as people with legitimate rights puts them totally out of step with the rights-based framework.
182. We do not need more philanthropy and patriarchy; we need more emphasis on human rights.
183. Clarifying the responsibility of the different levels of government is at the center of the dialogue between claim holders and duty bearers.
184. In human rights work, we cannot wait for political will –we need to generate it!
185. When we stand naked before the unvarnished mirror of truth, what we see is what we really are. Often what we are is what we civilize ourselves to disguise (or what we choose not to be outspoken about).
186. International NGOs demand more funds from donors but, with those funds, they often do not address crucial problems such as those related to deplorable local human rights situations.
187. The purpose of freedom from want is to create it for others.
188. We hear endless appeals-to and laments-about the lack of political will to address human rights issues. An active engagement by civil society means we no longer have a need to resort to the concept of political will!
189. In human rights work, when you deal with symptoms you generate sympathy, when you deal with causes you create social change.
190. Corporate social responsibility does not revolve around human rights concerns or charitable intentions; it revolves around business interests.
191. Corporations need clear, binding human rights rules.
192. Human rights: while small success stories are certainly possible, needed global reforms are being hampered.
193. In this, its 60th anniversary, the Universal Declaration of Human rRghts is still a kind of conscience of the world –or even more– today it can be considered customary international law.
194. Keep in mind: in human rights work we are in a struggle not only for accountability, but also against impunity.
195 + 196. The human right to health care process revisited.
197. The human right to health and to adequate nutrition in a structurally unequal society.
198. To define yourself as a human rights activist means initially going against the current.
199. Human rights violations are not only ‘social regrettables’.
200. A human rights-based poverty line is possible:
It is one that points to the income level at which human rights are fulfilled in practice in every particular context.
201. The human rights-based framework is here to put right avoidable wrongs worldwide.
202. In the spirit of the Paris declaration on development cooperation, the improvement of foreign aid is not seen purely as a technical matter of better harmonization, but as a political quest to more decisively focus development on human rights.
203. Something has gone terribly wrong with the promotion of democracy: our elected leaders are far from treating (and not only looking at) poverty as the most important underlying condition of human rights violations.
204. The preamble of WHO’s constitution unequivocally states that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being: is WHO living up to its mandate?
205+206. Health sector reform measures: have they worked?… And where do we go from here?
207, 208 +209. Health care as a right: what you need to know.
210+211. Human rights are part of a never-ending human struggle to improve people’s lives and to prevent reoccurrences of past abuse.
212. Dear Mr(s) president/prime minister: elements of an open letter to the government.
213. Bring human rights principles out of the closet.
214. Activists’ actions are normally more enduring when driven not only by selfless interest, but also by a certain sense of self-interest.
215. Speak truth to power.
216. Sick, underfed, underpaid, discriminated and overlooked, the excluded are at the center of human rights work.
217. Values, politics, democracy and human rights.
218. Where there is no effective claiming for redress, there are simply no prospects for effective human rights.
219. Development policy (..and human rights work) is not about (ethically motivated) alms for the poor.
220. A vision for human rights without a widely shared action plan leads nowhere.
221. It behooves all of us to insist on asserting our human rights; otherwise, we are our own worst enemy.
222. Experience has shown that, in development work, we now have to change our tactics: we will no longer ask for political will or commitment, but instead, will push governments on their legal obligation.
223. ‘Elemental Watson’: health sector reform has, so far, ignored the human right to health.
224. The dilemma in human rights work: when are service delivery, capacity building, advocacy and social mobilization really empowering?
225. Opposing counter-power to power…
226. It is not inequalities that kill people; it is those who are responsible for these inequalities that kill people.
227. Disparity reduction, national budgets and human rights.
228. Focusing on equality of results (beyond equality of access) is the needed step towards social justice and thus towards human rights.
229. Some reflections on the human rights of women.
230. Poverty and human rights.
231. The responsibility of rich countries for the persistence of impoverishment and ill-being in poor countries: a human rights-based indictment of the MDGs.
232. Actions and activism in fostering genuine grassroots participation in health and nutrition.
233. Learning from experience: connecting the ivory tower to mainstreet.
234. Beware: human rights are being interpreted to suit the free market.
235. Human rights learning has to be made into a year-round community resource.
236. The protection of human rights and the market fundamentalism of globalization are irreconcilable.
237. Some reactions to what we hear (and do not hear) in many a public health conference these days.
238. Iron laws about participation in the context of human rights work.
239. Have you asked yourself: where is the politics in political will?
240. The dozen hats worn by human rights activists.
241. Only where and when human rights are respected can we speak of democracy being stable.
242. Social medicine as a praxis is profoundly linked to the praxis of emancipatory human rights.
243. We are really in cloud cuckooland if we accept that neoliberalism is a benign social idea that backs the human rights framework.
244. When you dream about human rights alone, it is just a dream; when you dream with others, it pre-empts reality.
245. Having rights does not presuppose a simultaneous ability to claim them.
246. Human rights are about people being in control of their choices.
247. Human rights embrace the non-economic dimensions of development. They promote and consolidate social solidarity. They are not a display window; they entail a distinct program, a full-blown movement.
248. For decades now, we seem to intentionally not have contributed to train human beings on the critical issues that command their lives.
249. We are exposed to a hamburger journalism filled with fast food, with human rights prejudices, with propaganda and with oversimplifications.
250. Why human rights work is to be seen in the realm of political action.
251. Human rights lend legal and moral legitimacy and a sense of social justice to human development: some methodological considerations.
252-254. Although ethics is the proper language of medicine; human rights is the proper language of public health.
255. Implicitly, in human rights parlance, we constantly speak of saving the planet for the next generation when, in reality, we are talking about saving our generation and ourselves.
256. Human rights are not just a policy choice, but an imperative: how long will it take us to realize and act upon this?
257. When you see a good man, try to imitate him; when you see an indifferent man, examine yourself.
258. Why are the women in conservative societies so cavalierly expendable?
259. A tale about inhuman wrongs and human rights.
260. There still are too many skeptics around regarding the universality of the moral idea underpinning the rights of human beings.
261. Claim holders have human rights ‘inside them’. Human rights are not just gracious concessions of international law.
262. What is the problem with the human rights discourse that it has so far been unable to become an authentic mass renewal movement?
263. Human rights are not a tool that accepts poverty; human rights are a way to fight it.
264-265. Human rights activists oppose any alternative paradigm that finds its place where traditional development paradigms have already been.
266. The real potential of human rights lies in its ability to change the way people perceive themselves vis-a-vis the government.
267. Activities achieve outputs. programs achieve outcomes. But to achieve human rights impact, claim holders have to become de-facto claimants.
268. A brief inquiry into markets, capitalism, globalization, corporations and human rights.
269-271. Human rights are central objectives of development; it is utterly insufficient to refer to them as one of the ‘cross-cutting’ issues.
272. The social determinants gap in the causal chain of preventable ill-health and mortality must be recast as violations of human rights.
273. The challenge is to go from ratified treaty to law of the land. At the end of the day, national laws play the final critical role when assessing a government’s real commitment to human rights.
274. Do we defend human rights or do we defend ourselves from them?
275. The history of human rights is not a continuous straight line of progress. It is marked by periods of advance, of more or less intelligent reflection and of dead stagnation.
276. Development cooperation claims altruism and morality, but is driven by an image of moral superiority.
277. As we all well know, ethics is one of the roots of human rights. What do philosophers have had to say?
278. Justice, human rights and the state: to have a right is to have something which society ought to defend me for.
279. We are swarmed by too many statistics and data that, at the end of the day, provide too little valuable actionable information for human rights.
280. Human rights-proofing development plans.
281. It will only be through the vigilance and mobilization of thousands of citizens-who-care that we will ever wrest from our government(s) any decent human rights policy or action.
282. As a human rights activist, every day, I believe less in formal representative democracy.
283. Two possible styles of dealing with the issue of the right to health.
284. When it comes to implement the human rights-based framework, a cut/copy and paste course of action is totally inappropriate.
285. Inequality, human rights and the IMF in 2011.
286. Although it is logically possible to contest the idea that human rights have philosophical foundations, in light of widespread realities and a deepening global political consensus, it cannot be plausibly argued that the concept of universal human rights is an arbitrary construct.
287. In human rights work, it is the highly unequal relations of power that severely limit the terms of citizens’ active participation and representation.
288. Human rights are compelling in the abstract, but impossible in practice as long as there is no accountability.
289. The cornerstone of equality and of human rights is to value all persons equally.
290. There is a wrong use of verbs when referring to the human rights framework. we do not say ‘encourage’, ‘lobby’, ‘discuss’ or ‘undertake efforts to’; we say ‘demand’ –and for that we empower.
291-292. What can we do to intentionally shape our collective destiny?
293. Many people in development agencies still do not really care about adopting the human rights framework. They ‘fear’ it will lead to a politization of the health and development discourse…
294-295. People have rights, but that implies little if they lack a specific understanding of what that means in practical terms.
296. Every society uneducated in human rights is easily tricked by charlatans.
297-298. Capitalism, neoliberalism and how they score in the era of unfettered globalization and flagrant disregard for human rights.
299. Poverty is the necessary condition of capitalist production and the accumulation of wealth.
300. The question for NGOs to ask themselves is: What is the added value of human rights for us? Is it another tool or the key tool?
301. Traditional capacity building in current development schemes boils down to reiterating a certain logic of thinking that serves the hegemonic aims of the prevailing development paradigm. Human rights learning is different.
302-303. Health — Not charity, not merchandise: a human right.
304. Religions have been used to support concerted social activism and humanism. Does this link them with human rights?
305-306. How much underdevelopment can global security tolerate and how much poverty and human rights violations can allegedly democratic states put up with?
307-308. Equity and equality are not equivalent; they cannot either be reduced to simple risk factors, as is often done in human rights talk.
309. In the era of globalization, a society of equal opportunities and of respect of human rights has been and continues to be a mirage (or a farce?).
310-311. Is your government doing what it should on human rights? are you following up if it does?
312. Resolutely standing for the right to health means confronting the politics of exclusion and the economics of inequality.
313. It is human rights that are the conveniently forgotten intrinsic part of good governance!
314. For human rights, returning to pre-crisis status-quo will not suffice.
315. Poverty is a result of disempowerment and exclusion. Human rights violations are both a cause and a consequence of poverty.
316. The time for false notions is over: human rights activists are not perverse agitators.
317. In a way, public health deals with ‘statistical lives’ and not with ‘real lives’ as the right to health does.
318. When people suffer from hunger, they are not only subjected to a food deficit –they suffer from a justice deficit. justifiably so, hunger creates anger.
319. Is it correct to say that the enjoyment of all human rights is to be conceived per-se as a political right of all citizens?
320. The superficiality and frivolousness of the public opinion works against the needs of our human rights movement.
321-323. Yes, we eventually all have begging rights, but that is not what it is all about.
324. The geography of power is changing in the world. In human rights terms, our world is not entering a new era of rich and poor, but more and more an era of the included and the excluded.
325. Human rights readers: I write to encourage, to persuade, to stir and to arouse you.
326 Human rights are both part-of and instrumental-to the overall process of development. The realization of human rights is an end-goal of development itself.
327 The ABC trilogy: at all times, human rights activists must be angry, brave and creative.
328 The worse outcome of all the aggressions to the human condition that human rights violations bring about is humiliation.
329 Without indignation, nothing big and significant happens in the history of humanity …human rights included.
329a History told in a way that no rational person should swallow?
330 When it comes to human rights issues, is it only that we have to sensitize a bunch of ‘them out there’….or do we also need to, as much, sensitize many of ‘ourselves’ among us?
331 Gender inequality is the mother of all inequalities and of the violation of all women’s rights.
332 In human rights work, we should be measuring what we really treasure!
333 From health-in-all-policies to health-equality-in-all-policies –the human rights way.
334 From nutrition-in-all-policies to nutrition-equality-in-all-policies –the human rights way.
335 Instead of seeing the human rights movement like a monoculture, we should look at it as an ecosystem.
336 Human rights today represent the most important system of universal values that should be used as a common normative basis.
337 The sad truth is that most people are outsiders to the principles of economic, social and cultural rights –no matter how strongly they affirm the opposite.
338 On development, the law, empty promises and resistance in times of agitation.
339 In times of extreme human rights neglect and of extreme economic and environmental plunder, extreme measures are needed.
340 Genuine participation must come before accountability.
341-343 Making human rights radical again: the role of science, passion and commitment.
344 As a matter of fact, understanding the political environment remains crucial for human rights work.
345 Human rights activists have a compromise with their homeland, are married to its problems and are divorced from its wealth.
346-347 Capitalism only globalizes poverty, it only globalizes hunger and social injustice; it destroys deeply rooted economic, social and cultural human rights, as well as the environment.
348 From the absence of any consideration being given to human rights, to a state where they are paid lip service, to a state in which concrete recommendations are made …and are applied and monitored!
349 Democracy is nothing but the government of the masses where the majority can throw the rights of the minorities overboard.
350 The human rights readers steer us away from conformism, but they do not automatically lead us to action.
351 The human rights concept is creeping-in into the development lingo in a distorted manner and in the wrong context; nowadays this is a current occurrence.
352 In the contemporary global governance landscape, it is power asymmetries between actors with conflicting interests that shape the social and political determination of health.
353 In human rights empowerment, it is not about dreaming and coming up with unrealistic strategies that lead to a future that never comes true.
354 Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. it is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right: the right to dignity and to a decent life.
355 We may be moving towards a post-neoliberal era, but moving away from capitalism with its myriad human rights violations is much another thing.
356 Why it is crucial to strengthen extra-territorial human rights obligations in order to address the challenges of globalization.
357 Human rights advocates stress the secular nature of human rights work.
358 Denouncing foreign aid using the “west lectures the rest” dynamic.
359 What is unlikely to make it into the sustainable development goals. (SDGs)
360 Only with stronger cooperation and integration between social movements and public interest civil society groups will the shift in paradigm towards human rights become a reality.
361 It is the realization of human rights that contributes to peace, justice and democracy in the world: here is why.
362 Warning: the reading of united nations human rights covenants seriously upsets ignorance.
363 If rationality, ethics and fair economics were humanity’s guiding principles to living on this planet, human rights action would no longer need global summits.
364 Human rights activists: dreamers of dreams and seers of visions?
365 We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.
366 History must speak to us much more from the perspective of those forever marginalized, from what has happened to human rights over the millennia.
367. Development means to ‘be more’, but under globalization it has come to mean to ‘have more’ –two very different paradigms.
368. The imperative is to work for a radical transformation, and that means unequivocally taking sides for human rights as a definitive voice for an alternative discourse –and a strategy activists must pursue.
369. The United Nation’s expertise and competence is needed more and not less in a world in which genuine development cooperation is replacing discredited patterns of aid as patronage.
370. Public-Private Partnerships contravene the human rights-based understanding of people as claim holders and governments as duty bearers.
371. If defending and struggling for the fulfillment of the right to health is considered subversive, it makes us subversive. This is an invitation. Let’s all scheme and challenge!
372. Human rights are not a supplemental task in economic and development affairs policy making; they are a core issue.
373. Poverty is way too often seen as a personal failing when, strictly speaking, it is rather a political and a human rights failing.
374. Is there a relationship between the so prevalent human rights violations and large groups of people living frightened?
375. Inequalities, political capture and the exercise of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are closely connected.
376. Being a free wo/man is more than living in a place where human rights are being proclaimed. Being free entails being in a war where one has to struggle every day against all powers, against all fears.
377. The politics of human rights is about overturning the dominant narrative.
378. Human rights are rightfully and generally conceived as a counter-hegemonic instrument for injustices.
379. We cannot avoid but asking ourselves a crucial question: Do religions preach peace and human rights, but support the passive acceptance of injustice and inequality?
380. Indicators are in fashion at the beginning of the SDGs era. Are human rights getting their fair hearing?
381. The good thing about human rights is that they are here to stay whether the SDGs drafters believed in them as pivotal to the development process or not. (part one of two)
382. The good thing about human rights is that they are here to stay whether the SDGs drafters believed in them as pivotal to the development process or not. (part two of two)
383. The human rights activists’ motto: Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
384. We need to sharpen our participatory democracy so as to make public-public human rights-based partnerships statutory and the norm.
385. The breakaway wealth of the 1% is proof that we do not have a crisis of scarcity, but a deficit of fairness and of human rights.
386. There are differences: Through human rights education we know them; through human rights learning we live them.
387. Score: SDGs 1, human rights 0? The SDGs are a politically negotiated consensus that has no significant human rights enforcement mechanism built in.
388. If the politics are not favorable to speaking truthfully about human rights then clearly we must devote more energy to changing the politics. (part one of two)
389. if the politics are not favorable to speaking truthfully about human rights then clearly we must devote more energy to changing the politics. (part two of two)
390. Our struggle is not for global health justice; it is for global health and justice, as well as for global health with justice.
391. Locally organizing is to build more citizenship and social commitment to build a more just, more equitable and less commercialized society attuned to the principles of human rights.
392. Think of it: human rights are part and parcel of the mandate actually given by the people to the state.
393. Political rights are guaranteed by the state as the ultimate duty bearer. Social rights must be conquered, proclaimed and declared by claim holders.
394. Can we get away from spurious myths such as human rights not having universality and legitimacy?
395. Our job is to make sure history is of all of humanity.
396. In human rights work information is power only if it is linked to exerting influence by claim holders –thus the importance of their empowerment.
397. Helping to empower, human rights activists turn beggars into claimants.
398. When we talk about the SDGs, we must talk about what we must do today to arrive where we want to be tomorrow. This compels us to adopt and apply the human rights framework –now.
399. Talking grandiosely about ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ allows conservatives to ignore anything approaching the needed truly democratic ways of working towards the realization of human rights.
400. I would like to see the human rights readers as a skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be attractive.
401-402. There is an opposing relationship between neoliberalism (and authoritarianism) and the human rights framework.
403. The most common description of health inequality trends among and within countries is that health inequalities are increasing: a clear infringement of the human right to health.
404. Businesses do not play a ‘critical role’, and calling on them to engage as equal partners in a human rights-based development process, is not called for.
405. For too long it was considered that transnational corporations could not be held accountable for human rights violations. This has now changed.
406. Substantive work of WHO, particularly in relation to health systems development, should counter the privatization agenda, but does it?
407. Inequality is not just an economic issue, but a human rights issue. Extreme inequality is the antithesis of human rights.
408. In 1793, the militant revolutionary Olympia de Gouges proposed a declaration of the rights of women including their civic rights. The guillotine chopped her head.
409. The next fifteen years development outlook: is the balance already irreversibly skewed in favor of private interests and against human rights?
410. Just as capitalism is globalized, we must globalize the struggle for the rights of those rendered poor.
411. We are not making this up: The vast majority of states have obligated themselves to respect, protect and fulfill all human rights.
412. Young people must occupy their rightful place in human rights decision-making. They should take the helm of the ship.
413. Health care for those rendered poor often ends up being poor health care, so that the more we target benefits at them only … the less likely we are to reduce poverty and inequality.
414. The greatest punishment for those who are not interested in politics is that they are governed by people who are.
415. Inequality has been a choice. Globalization thrives on existing inequalities.
416. Health-rights and justice-in-global-health have a unity of purpose, i.e., to guarantee health opportunities and outcomes for marginalized populations.
417. Poverty reduction as a goal sounds lovely, but this fairy tale vision of development and of human rights betrays a serious misunderstanding of poverty.
418. In a world dominated by markets, where resources flow toward power instead of need, what would happen if we really cared more about hunger and malnutrition from a right to nutrition perspective?
419. For those of us who advocate for human rights it is not about just to convince others, but to recommit ourselves.
420. Religions have a strong power on politics, on society and on human rights: They shape world views, ways of life and the type of social engagement of many people around the globe.
421. The view from orthodoxy: Point/counterpoint on globalization and human rights.
422. President Obama often reminded us the arc of history is long, but does it bend towards justice and human rights? Bending the arc of history we must.
423. The participation rhetoric has hidden the reality of what exclusion in human rights terms really is.

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