Oxfam India works to address root causes of poverty and inequality. We see poverty as a problem where people are deprived of opportunities, choices, resources, knowledge and protection. Poverty is something more than mere lack of income, health and education. It is also people's frustration on being excluded from decision-making. While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the guiding framework under which Oxfam India functions, we also derive our mandate from the Constitutional Rights promised to every citizen of the country.
Persistent poverty and inequality is not just a violation of basic human rights of the people but it also undermines economic growth of a nation by wasting talents and human resources. It leads to a skewed society where power and decision-making remains in the hands of a few, leading to greater conflicts and undermining social cohesion.
Oxfam seeks to address this through a Rights Based Approach where people are seen as the bearers of civil, political and social and economic rights. At the same time, institutions, both state and non-state, are seen as duty bearers to guarantee and provide those rights to the people. It is also important to underline that without augmenting people's ability to exercise them, the rights would be meaningless.
We work to bring change in people's lives by aiming for wider structural changes. These include:
- Greater state and institutional accountability
- Effective participation of people in decisions affecting their lives, through articulation of their demands and rights
- Increased power and influence of poor people over distribution and use of public resources and assets
- Increased social inclusion of the poor
- Changes in ideas and beliefs to inform equitable development strategies
Oxfam's work is framed by our commitment to five Rights-based aims:
- Right to a sustainable livelihood.
- Right to basic social services.
- Right to life and security.
- Right to be heard.
- Right to an identity.