Dissolving the difference between humanitarianism and development: the mixing of a rights-based solution

The conventional (but false) dichotomy between humanitarianism and development, hitherto grounded in the perceived differences between international humanitarian law and international human rights law respectively, is not merely unhelpful in practical terms but also serves to diminish our understanding of the shared issues underlying the two discourses. There are welcome signs, however, of a growing recognition that all development and relief work is essentially rights-based and of efforts to integrate thinking and practice under one common set of principles. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development Methods and Approaches: Critical Reflections and in Debating Development: NGOs and the Future.