SACSIS embraces a rights based approach to development, which views poverty as a denial of human rights.
According to Peter Uvin, A rights-based approach to development re-defines the nature and problems of the development enterprise into claims, duties and mechanisms that can promote, respect and adjudicate the violation of human rights. Typically this brings about a root cause approach, focusing on state policy and discrimination. Significantly, the move from needs to rights and charity to claims focuses attention on (public) accountability.
SACSIS subscribes to the following principles underpinning a rights-based approach to development:
A rights-based approach to development is both a vision and a set of tools: human rights can be the means, the ends, the mechanism of evaluation, and the central focus of sustainable human development.
Accountability is central to a rights-based approach. It is often not addressed by other development approaches.
Looking at poverty through a rights lens (i.e., as a denial of human rights) enables a richer understanding of the different dimensions of poverty and encourages a more comprehensive policy response to its structural causes.
From a human rights perspective, poverty is not merely a state of low income but a human condition characterized by the sustained deprivation of the capabilities, choices and power necessary for the enjoyment of fundamental rights.
Rights based approaches prohibit development policies or initiatives that violate social or economic rights, or increase inequalities in the pursuit of economic growth.
These principles are adapted from the Association for Women’s Rights in Development’s Facts & Issues – A Rights-Based Approach to Development.