Essay on Appropriate Role for NGOs in Developing Countries

Published: 2021/11/04
Number of words: 889

Developing countries around the world are facing challenges recognizing and addressing sustainability and social problems. Likewise, those that recognized the need for sustainability also experience difficulties working on their own, and they are often forced to find help. More importantly, it is difficult for a government to attain sustainability and address social issues; therefore, in most cases, they partner with non-governmental (NGOs) organizations to address these issues in a global context. NGO is a term representing a variety of nonprofit organizations and organizations from advocacy groups, humanitarian aid agencies, and policy organizations (Desai, Desai and Potter, 2014, p. 568). Although there are many NGOs in the contemporary world, they usually have a collective aim: improving the quality of life of the disadvantaged people. Improving the lives of the underprivileged people may include empowering people, service delivery in terms of medication and education, and, more importantly, acting as advocates on behalf of the poor. Nevertheless, advocating for people’s rights in society is the most appropriate role NGOs should play in developing countries.

Advocating for people’s rights does not mean that the other roles are insignificant, but it is because human rights violation is a prevalent problem facing many people in developing countries. Also, the right to life and freedom comes first, and it is above all other aspects. In most developing countries, women and children are denied fundamental rights, including the rights to education, property, and, more importantly, reproductive rights. Other examples of human rights violations included crimes against humanity: genocide, slavery, torture, and rape. At times, it is usually the governments and social institutions in these countries, including the police that conduct these inhumane acts, therefore leaving individuals feeling helpless. Importantly, if human rights issues are adequately addressed above all other things, communities can thrive and overcome consistent struggles.

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Most human rights NGOs are established to prevent human rights abuses and offer representation for the oppressed people. Those that stand for human dignity develop advocacy campaigns. Advocacy campaigns are established actions targeted at creating support for human rights policies and proposals. The aims of these campaigns may range from drafting and passing new legislation against police brutality; to reforming the judicial system (Kabeer, Mahmud, and Isaza Castro, 2010, p.17). Furthermore, human rights organizations’ recurring role in the advocacy of human rights and seeking social change through influencing attitudes tend to reform state services based on NGO experiences and lobbying. Achieving reforms in a despotic environment is never easy for human rights NGOs as some find themselves in direct conflict against powerful oppressors. However, and despite these oppressions, NGOs must advocate for the rights of the disadvantaged within the communities.

Non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders in different places in the world should protect human rights, especially women’s rights. Gender-based violence is at all times high, and women are always at the mercy of men. Gender-based violence is a typical form of human rights violation perpetrated against women. By discriminating women, institutions and individuals violate the right to life, liberty, and security of person. Besides, NGOs have also exercised a multitude of tasks and responsibilities in human rights and the defence of human dignity (Desai, Desai, and Potter, 2014, p.806). For instance, some archived their roles by setting agendas and getting items for actions on the international program. Notably, this can be seen in how NGOs got slavery inscribed into the global agenda. The Anti-Slavery Society, founded in 1838 and the Aborigines’ Protection Society Founded in 1837, are some of the known NGOs that stood for the rights of slaves; these human rights NGOs participated intensively in inscribing slavery on the world agenda. Furthermore, it is the human rights NGOs that pushed for the inscription of human rights in the United Nations Charter. The recognition of women’s rights as a component of human rights was established as an agenda on the World Conference on Human Rights through sustained campaigns conducted by major human rights organizations from different parts of the globe. Before this, women’s rights were entirely overlooked on the basis that it occurred in private. The rights of women were treated as an aspect different from the mainstream of human rights concerns.

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Non-governmental organizations play numerous roles in contemporary societies. Some specialize in service delivery, including offering medication and education to the deprived people. Others empower disadvantaged communities by providing growth paths, providing opportunities for business, and so on. In like manner, there are those that advocate for human rights. All these roles are significant as they improve and sustain human lives; however, protecting and standing for human rights is fundamental above the other functions. In the absence of human rights and dignity, people cannot thrive. Likewise, without fundamental, the right communities in developing nations cannot prevail and overcome struggles that are always on the rise. Condemning instances of human rights violations is essential to the success of most human rights organizations. Likewise, human rights NGOs are most effective when it comes to reforms because they are usually backed strong public advocacy.

Reference List

Desai, V 2014 (eds), ‘Role of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)’ in Desai V. and R. Potter The Companion to Development Studies. London: Routledge. pp.804-810

Kabeer, N., Mahmud, S. and Isaza Castro, J., 2010. NGOs strategies and the challenge of development and democracy in Bangladesh. IDS Working Papers, (343), pp.01-71.

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