IDI believes that human rights are the foundation of just and prosperous societies in which individuals have the opportunity to live dignified, full and meaningful lives. We believe that the ultimate goal of development should be a society in which civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are fully respected and enjoyed as social and legal guarantees on a non-discriminatory basis. We also believe that the path of development will be most conducive to such an outcome if members of society are encouraged to be active and informed agents in the development process, including through public debate, and are able to hold decision-makers to account. The contribution that each member of society can make to development is maximized when people have the capabilities and opportunities afforded by human rights guarantees. We therefore perceive human rights as intrinsically valuable and inextricably linked to effective and sustainable development.
Governments have both moral and legal obligations to respect, protect and progressively fulfill human rights. Other power holders, including bilateral and multilateral aid and development agencies, share these obligations. Corporations have a responsibility to respect human rights, by conducting due diligence to avoid infringing the rights of others and to address adverse impacts that occur.
The human rights obligations of States to people within its jurisdiction are almost universally accepted and are increasingly well defined. The precise duties and responsibilities of development, trade and business actors and how they should be implemented in relation to their activities are, however, less well understood. IDI develops clear and practical guidelines for development, trade and business actors for the operationalization of a human rights approach to their work for particular sectors, industries, projects and programs. We also provide advice to development agencies and businesses that are genuinely committed to adopting a human rights approach to their work.