The policy is based on the rights approach. This means that the cooperation with partner countries contains requirements that have to do with democratisation, respect for human rights and good governance. The note specifically mentions the rights of women and children, sexual and reproductive rights and rights for sexual and gender minorities.
New policy lines
The policy note highlights that the new cooperation agreements always have a section on human rights. In the cooperation with Niger, Belgium supports a UNFPA project to prevent child marriage and teen pregnancies. In Morocco, the new agreement contains a programme to end violence against women.
The new policy headlines for 2017 are peace and safety, entrepreneurship, climate and women’s and children’s rights. “Investing in women’s and children’s rights is the best way toward sustainable development”, according to Minister De Croo. The strategic note “Gender in the Belgian Development Cooperation”, which prioritises sexual and reproductive health and rights, will be the guideline for the implementation of the policy in the field.