A Rights-Centric Approach to the SDGs

Based on the reading:

Langford, M. (2010). A poverty of rights: six ways to fix the MDGs. IDS bulletin, 41(1), 83-91.

In this paper, Langford described the inadequacy of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and suggested ways in which a refocus on, and a normative framework based on, human rights could, in his words, “fix the MDGs.” Before I reflect on the substance of his writing, I wish to express how heartened I am that Langford, and presumably others like him, have chosen to work with the enterprise of the MDGs instead of abandoning it all together.

While the MDGs might appear too distant from the marginalised peoples around the world or too abstract and general for local policymakers and civil society organisations, I think there is merit in sustaining the discourse on “development goals” –

What is the nature of development we desire? How do we envision our individual societies 15 years from now? What might be the small steps in between?

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