Whatever NGO field we work in, we need to understand two underlying concepts: Human Rights and Inclusion.
They are important because they shape the way development agencies think and plan projects as well as the way national and international aid is given. They shape the way fields and problems are discussed, and, as development workers, we need to understand the thinking and language of other people in our field.
The concept of Human Rights has come out of the UN organisations and puts into writing what every individual should be getting in this world: from food, to education, to equal rights under the law, to privacy.
Inclusion is recognizing our universal "oneness" and interdependence. Inclusion is recognizing that we are "one" even though we are not the "same". The act of inclusion means fighting against exclusion and all of the social diseases that exclusion gives birth to – racism, sexism etc.
The concepts of Human Rights and Inclusion both drive towards the same kinds of outcome and they overlap a great deal. For example, the right of children to inclusive education is recognised in a number of international human rights documents. Both concepts have led to changes and successes.
People working in development are finding that two questions are increasingly important. These are: who is included? And, who is left out?
The following relevant books are available for download from this site: