Why Rights and Humanity

Rights and Humanity is ideally placed to spearhead this initiative. Established in 1986, the organisation has taken a lead in pioneering the successful “human rights approach to development” which has now been adopted by UN agencies, governmental development agencies and NGOs around the world.

Evaluations of the implementation of the human rights approach have indicated its effectiveness, both as a framework for public policy and in shaping sustainable solutions to global challenges. In 1995, Rights and Humanity’s was invited to advise the South African Government on integrating economic and social rights into the constitution and we produced several briefing papers. The speech of our Founder and President before the Constitutional Assembly marked a turning point in ensuring integration of these rights.

In November 1999, following the Asian financial crisis, Rights and Humanity brought together at UN headquarters in New York a high level group of UN, corporate and financial experts to formulate a human rights approach to global economic governance. The conclusions of the Expert Group, in which the then Secretary General Kofi Annan participated through a high level representative, have particular resonance for today’s challenges.

Over two decades, Rights and Humanity has also helped to develop a multi-faith and multi-cultural understanding of the responsibilities shared by all individuals and organisations. In 2003, these responsibilities were compiled in The Rights and Humanity Principles of Responsibility signed  by all our Patrons – His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Tutu, HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, Dadi Janki, Head of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Mrs Cherie Blair and Sir Sigmund Sternberg. The Principles of Responsibility have also been signed by leaders of the world’s main faiths, business leaders and senior representatives of other sectors of society, providing a helpful background document for the Congress.



  • “Ensuring Equity in Aid, Trade And Lending: Promoting A Human Rights Approach To Global Economic Governance” Report, November, 1999.

  • The Rights and Humanity Principles of Responsibility
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