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To Claim our Rights: livelihood security, human rights and sustainable development

Book/book chapter

Written by Andrew Norton

This book explores the potential contribution of a human rights perspective to the development of policies and programmes that strengthen the sustainability of poor people’s asset and livelihood security.

A review of key elements in human rights, livelihoods and sustainable development debates identifies areas of common concern. This shows that concepts of livelihoods and sustainable development both require a stronger analysis of power relations, institutions and politics.

A human rights framework provides a useful entry point for the analysis of asymmetries in power and the institutions which reinforce these unequal relations. A conceptual framework for the analysis of the human rights dimensions of livelihoods is developed, supported by case study material. This operates at three levels, the normative, analytical and operational, and includes such tools as a human rights and livelihoods matrix, a rights regime analysis, a channels of contestation matrix, and an entry point checklist.

The authors argue that a rights and livelihoods perspective provides a more concrete understanding of social sustainability and sustainable development. The book concludes with two propositions for analysing social sustainability from a rights and livelihoods perspective.

Caroline Moser and Andy Norton with Tim Conway, Clare Ferguson and Polly Vizard