Rights-based foreign policy
Report compiled by Labour International Development Network.
Ratified by Labour International CLP at GC meeting 21st February 2021
Part 4. (final)
Some implications of a rights-based approach
A rights-based approach to policy can draw on the longstanding fundamental focus of Labour on the rights and interests of people who depend on work for a living. It connects with concern for justice and equality as the pursuit of conditions of life available to all regardless of circumstances. It offers opportunities to reinforce Labour's core values and extend their appeal and effectiveness.
A rights-based approach to international policy is especially important as it shows show how Labour values can connected with established internationally recognised rights and efforts to extend their range and effectiveness. It provides a political structure which helps people see how their concerns to improve particular situations in the world can be best advanced by joining with others to strengthen the international institutional recognition of rights.
As suggested above, a rights-based approach can affect international policy in different ways. First, there are immediate implications of existing internationally recognised rights for policy which could inform new emphases, as we see in security policy. Second, active rights-related initiatives such as climate justice, which could be a point of reference in Labour's development policy, show how ideas related to rights can be a policy catalyst. Third, there are areas, such as trade policy, where rights could relate to interests in different ways which need to be considered carefully. Fully developing the implications of a rights-based approach to international policy will require pursuing each of these dimensions in the recognition that however transformative, rights will not provide the whole answer to every policy question.
Full report attached here as pdf.