Church and Human Rights

Danish Mission Council Development Department considers the right based approach to development cooperation central.

Projects that build on the right based approach seek to change the structures that create inequality and poverty, and to address fundamental causes to poverty problems. Problems that often are an expression of violations of basic human rights and that explicit are mentioned in the analysis and incorporated into the implementation of a project. 

Right based development work is done based on the principle that all human beings are equal and that all have a right to development and opportunities. It is a common duty to promote development and justice for all human beings, since everybody has the same fundamental and imperative human rights. 

The Four Principles

Right based development work is built on a series of principles. DMCDD uses the following four principles:

  • Empowerment
  • Participation
  • Non-discrimination
  • Accountability

Furthermore, values such as dignity and reconciliation are closely linked to a Christian foundation and can therefore with high benefit be incorporated. The principles should be guiding the way that the organization works and organizes and be reflected in the preparation and implementation of projects.

Churches and Christian Organizations and the Right Based Approach

Diakonia is an integrated part of the Church identity and work, as is the case amongst the members of DMCDD and their partners.

Both diakonia and human rights works against social injustice and seek to maintain the dignity of all human beings and secure inclusive communities. There is therefore not an opposition between working right based and faith based. The report, Learning Review on the Rights perspectives in DMCDD, also finds that many Christian organizations are good at working right based.

DMCDD has assembled a series of tools so that member organizations and their partners can cooperate on improving the right based development work.