Inequality and human rights colloquium addresses the right to redevelopment

Kahlil Said

The Raroport Center for Human Rights and Justice invited Balakrishnan Rajagopal, associate professor of law and development, to host their third Inequality and Human Rights colloquium, a “Right to Development after the Collapse of Development.”

The colloquium focused on how attorneys can affect developing countries with regards to progress through economic development. Rajagopal said the role of attorneys involving ideas and policies for development is substantial.

“International lawyers played a significant role in reinforcing some of the tendencies of economics and other ideas that drove the whole project of development forward,” Rajagopal said.

First year law student Ben Alred said he can see why Rajagopal mentioned the importance of international lawyers’ roles.

“Lawyers and people in the area of law in general understand public policy and the motives behind certain policies and ideas,” Alred said. “There is no doubt their knowledge of and experience with public policy is important.”

Rajagopal said the ideas and policies of developed countries were not sufficient for development in undeveloped countries.

“A different set of theories and policies are needed to forward development,” Rajagopal said. “The theory of development economics is the idea that there is a separate stream of economics for developing countries.”

Rajagopal said right to development as defined in the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights shows the complexities of the different motivational thinking behind development.

“Development is defined in the declaration on the one hand as a right that puts the human person as the subject of the development process,” Rajagopal said. “In a conventional way, this is why it can be seen as a human right.”

Rajagopal said developing countries used to work together, but this solidarity among developing nations is no longer seen in today’s world.

“A problem today with developing countries is that unlike working together as they did in the 1980s, there is no longer cohesion between these countries,” Rajagopal said.

Second year law student Mohammed Nabulsi said to understand the right of development is to realize that it is a political assertion that developed countries are responsible for the position of developing countries.

“The right to development is basically the developing countries saying the developed countries owe them for the position they are in.”