Human Rights Based Sustainable Development: Essential Frameworks for an Integrated Approach

By Marco Tavanti and Alfredo Sfeir-Younis.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is a need for a new integrated paradigm that equally regards the social, economic, cultural and environmental pillars as capitals. This paper addresses the theoretical and practical implication that human rights have if placed at the center of sustainable development models. Through an examination of the limits of legal human rights and sustainable economic development, the article offers innovative insights for a rights-based model to implement international sustainable development. The model offers new insights in the discussion of the pillars of sustainability while inspiring a process that is based on responsibilities and rights at the economic, social, environmental, cultural and institutional levels.

Keywords: Rights-based Development, Sustainable Development, Environmental Rights, Human Rights

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.21-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 688.157KB).

Dr. Marco Tavanti

Associate Professor, School of Public Service, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA

Dr. Marco Tavanti has more than 25 years of experience working internationally in the field of sustainable development, poverty reduction and community development. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Public Service. He is a member of the presidential Sustainability Taskforce Committee at DePaul University. He is director of various international programs, including the Sustainable Chiapas Program, teaching this course with a human rights based approach to sustainable development. He is a Research Fellow for the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI), Senior Wicklander Fellow for the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics (IBPE) and Faculty Advisor for the Coleman Center for Entrepreneurship. Since 1998, Dr. Tavanti has been collaborating with various indigenous Mayan community organizations and Mexican NGOs, including International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). Dr. Tavanti is currently working on a book entitled Sustainable Development Leadership. Other publications include Las Abejas: Pacifist Resistance and Syncretism identities in a Globalizing Chiapas (Routledge 2003), analysis of the collective identity of an indigenous civil society organization and their struggle for land rights.

Alfredo Sfeir-Younis

President, Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation, Santiago, Chile

Dr. Alfredo Sfeir-Younis is a Chilean economist, spiritual leader and healer, presently President of the Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation, founded in 2005 in Washington, DC. Before opening the Institute, Sfeir-Younis had a twenty-nine year career at the World Bank where he was hired as the World Bank’s first environmental economist in 1976 and later was appointed Director of the World Bank Office in Geneva, Switzerland. He served as Special Representative to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization from 1996 to 1999. In both institutions Sfeir-Younis worked in the general fields of human rights, peace, and social justice; within this broader context he initiated and promoted policy in such areas as poverty eradication, international trade and finance, financing of development, gender and women's issues, trade and development, role of indigenous peoples, sustainable management of forestry and fisheries, water management and irrigation, desertification, biodiversity, culture and spirituality in sustainable development, and alternative medicine. He has received numerous awards from international organizations, including the Lifetime Ambassador of Peace (2001), Peace and Tolerance Award (2002), World Healer Award (2002), Messenger of Peace (2002), Peace, Mercy and Tolerance Award (2003), Supreme Advisor of the Buddhist Spiritual Forum Award, World Peace Mercy and Tolerance Award (2004), Diamond Peace Award (2005), and Peace Ambassador Award (2006).