Exploring the Experience of Violence and Loss of Dignity Among Rohingyas in Bangladesh and Internally Displaced People in Afghanistan
Sustainable governance and sustainable human development are at the core of this project which focuses on understanding displaced peoples: the impetus for their movement and its effects on their lives. The research team seeks to discover what realistic changes will make a positive difference to displaced peoples’ leading safe and peaceful lives where they are treated with dignity, justice and equality and allowed and supported to move out of poverty and re-build (or build new) healthy lives and communities.
As Wollstonecraft noted ‘It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world’. This is as true today as it was in 1792 and needs to be recognised in any sustainable development agenda; handouts and immediate relief of desperate need does little to ensure future prosperity. Justice is owed to every human and needs to give dignity and capacity to each person. Sen’s capability approach recognises this, suggesting justice should encompass access to and fairer distribution of material needs to relieve immediate problems but also, and sometimes more important, should include ‘real’ opportunities for future lives, capacity to make use of resources or opportunities (true ‘well-being freedom’). He also argues that a ‘good’ outcome should not be imposed from outside, it should be personal to each community or group and to everyone within that group (‘agency freedom’). Therefore, lasting and meaningful sustainable development must embrace a deep understanding from the perspective of those in need, respect for their idea of a ‘good’ life (as long as it also resects the lives of others).
Furthermore, the development of individuals builds sustainability and strength from within; each person who increases their own capacity adds to the viability and well-being of him/herself and contributes to the progress, emotional growth and material prosperity of others in their community. This project aims to deliver that evidence and use it to suggest new pathways and shape innovative development to promote ‘real’ well-being and agency freedom, for individuals and communities.