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[Excerpt] The current Performance Goal of the USDOL Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) is to “[i]mprove worker rights and livelihoods for vulnerable populations” (ILAB 2011). This rights-livelihoods goal reflects the broadening over the last twenty years of ILAB’s scope of activities, which has evolved into having a more steady focus on developing economies. The purpose of this paper is to provide context for the furthering of ILAB’s rights-livelihoods goal by examining the main principles of two key development approaches that emphasize rights or livelihoods. The intent is not to determine which approach is better – that would depend on situational needs and priorities, and the the literature are too vast to explore here. Rather, understanding the fundamentals of these approaches can help to inform ILAB’s current thinking and enhance the connection of ILAB’s work with concepts in the broader development community.


Suggested Citation
de Silva, T. E. (2013). Principles in international development: Sustainable livelihoods and human rights based approaches. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs.