Development Induced Displacement

The right to development as a human right implies a universal protection against development hazards. In the light of Thomas Pogge’s thesis on global justice, that implies a corresponding state obligation not to cause harm. The principle of fair distribution of benefits stipulated in the Declaration of the Right to Development is the normative basis for this interpretation.  Distinctive in the obligation not to cause harm is that it incorporates the idea of equity and in that regard it extends beyond state obligations asserted in the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  Human rights violations in the light of the right to development occur when development projects cause significant harm for one group, or others benefit more.  Development induced displacement is a term normally used to describe such situations.

For instances when the construction of dams, transport infrastructures, or other mega projects lead to forced evictions and allocations of people and communities. This topic is being discussed in the most recent edition of ‘Development in Practice‘.

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