Strengthen the links between human rights and sustainable peace in aid strategies

Strategies are the government's most important instrument for managing development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Although the government recognizes the links between human rights and sustainable peace, our study shows that the strategies do not do them justice. It writes representatives of the Fund for Human Rights.

"There is no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development and neither without respect for human rights." This is the government's almost biblical text in the letter. Police framework for Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

The letter describes the Government's focus on Swedish development cooperation and humanitarian aid. On the one hand, the policy framework emphasizes development cooperation and humanitarian aid that must be coordinated and coordinated. The pursuit of human rights and peace must permeate the work. On the other hand, these links are missing in parts of the letter. In the chapter on human rights, it is only when goal 16 in Agenda 2030 - on peaceful and inclusive societies - is mentioned that the link between human rights and sustainable peace is made. In the chapter on peaceful and inclusive societies, on the other hand, several links are made to human rights.

When it comes to women's participation in peace work, one is emphasized efficiency argument for women's empowerment and participation. Women must therefore participate in the peace work because it is then easier to achieve the goals of a lasting peace. The police framework, on the other hand, does not emphasize women right to autonomy and participation.

Links between human rights and sustainable peace in aid strategies

Strategies are the government's most important instrument for managing development cooperation and humanitarian aid. The strategies govern the cooperation that is implemented in individual countries or regions, through multilateral organizations and in thematic areas. The strategies set goals for Swedish development cooperation, that is ford the collaboration must contribute during a specified strategy period. In the case of geographical and thematic strategies, the authority or authorities entrusted with the implementation of the strategy are then responsible for: the this is going to happen.

The Government's and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' ambition for rigorous governance has given rise to a policy framework that contains recurring writings used in the strategies - we have chosen to call them standard writings. These writings are given a relatively prominent role in the strategies and thus for the management of development cooperation. However, the standard writings' developments of the perspectives that are to permeate Swedish development cooperation are not identical to the policy framework. In contrast to the framework's development of the rights perspective, which emphasizes all four basic principles - non-discrimination, participation, openness and transparency, and taking responsibility and demanding responsibility - only one of the principles is emphasized - that of non-discrimination. Furthermore, the standard writing on the conflict perspective misses the links between inclusive and peaceful societies and human rights.

When it comes to the two thematic strategies that should make connections to each other, we also see shortcomings. In strategy Sustainable peace only the importance of peace for human rights and in the strategy is mentioned Human rights, democracy and the rule of law only the importance of human rights for the maintenance of peace and security is addressed. Their interaction is not mentioned.

At the country and regional level, we see that all strategies examined contain elements of human rights and sustainable peace. But it is mainly when these thematic areas are treated specifically that a rights and peace perspective is used. In other parts of the strategies, the rights and peace perspective is often weak. In most of the strategies, the references to the perspectives are limited to the standard writings - few make developments with the local context at the center.

Half of the country strategies studied and one of four regional strategies make connections between human rights and sustainable peace. However, the connections are weak. In view of the above, we believe that goal 16 in Agenda 2030 - on peaceful and inclusive societies - is central to linking the different perspectives and achieving a more holistic approach.

We also note that the country strategies to a greater extent refer to reconciliation in comparison with transitional justice, that is, the processes and mechanisms a state uses to deal with massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law and which guarantee the right to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition. This is despite the fact that the policy framework emphasizes transitional justice as an area of ​​work as opposed to reconciliation. Nor can we find that the meaning of reconciliation is explained anywhere, which means that it could be interpreted in its simplest form - to forget and forgive. Finally, we believe that several strategies equate the opposition to impunity and transitional justice and / or the principles and transitional justice of the rule of law. This is unfortunate because neither work on the rule of law nor work on impunity can replace transitional justice. They are all closely related to each other, parts of each other, but also complementary.

The negative effects of standard writing

There is no doubt that there is a common thread between policy frameworks and strategies. But, like the whisper that is spread between a chain of people, we see that the message in several cases takes a slightly different form than the original. A key factor may be the writing space where the strategies have a considerably smaller space in relation to the policy framework - which presents a challenge in maintaining the rigor in the shorter format. We see that even the standard writings can jeopardize this stringency. The reason is not so much ford which is addressed as the it is addressed.

If the limited writing space in the strategies is crucial, one could refer further to the policy framework, instead of developing the perspectives with writings that do not do them justice. The latter risks eroding the perspectives - as is the case with the writing about the rights perspective that we refer to above.

We also ask ourselves whether the standard writings can have a negative side effect in that they inhibit writings that clearly relate to and integrate the perspectives in the current strategy. Together, they form a significant part of the strategies and there may be a risk that they "force out" writings that would make the strategies more context-adapted.

Recommendations for strengthening the connections

It would be interesting and relevant to study the business conducted on the basis of the strategies. Here, it is worth noting the result of an evaluation that found no clear correlation between strategies and activities in terms of the integration of the child rights perspective in Sida's activities. With this as a background and recommendation in itself, the study arrives at some recommendations on how to proceed. These include adjusting the standard writings so that they better reflect a rights perspective, transitional justice, and the links between human rights and sustainable peace found in the policy framework and goal 16 in Agenda 2030. Finally, the study also recommends an increased focus on human rights relations. and sustainable peace, as well as an increased focus on transitional justice and all its components in future strategies.

This is a debate article. The author is responsible for analysis and opinions in the text.

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