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Human Rights

By John Madeley

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Employment and therefore economic growth are generated. The implementation of such a strategy means that internal changes, for example land reform, are likely to be needed. Some governments of developing countries are making determined efforts to implement a basic needs strategy, but many are held back by lack of resources. Also many remain suspicious of the concept. Some believe that the West is stressing basic needs in order to divert attention away from the changes that are needed in the international economic order.

Basic needs have been an "in" phrase in development since the con­ cept was launched at an I L O conference in 1976. The idea behind the concept is that governments give priority to meeting basic individual needs such as food, shelter and clothing, and basic community needs like health care, education, safe water and transport. They invest more money on improving the nutrition, health, education and living standards of people. By doing so they increase the ability of millions to work more productively.

8 National and Personal Lifestyle and Economic Rights It is not only the decisions that the British Government takes over aid, trade, monetary reform and multinational firms that afl'ect devel­ opment and economic human rights in the Third World. The de­ cisions the Government take over running the British economy can have a considerable impact on developing countries—as also can the decisions taken by individuals over the way they run their own per­ sonal economies. In an interdependent world there is little that the Government can do on apparently internal matters that does not have wider implications.

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