I am conscious in framing these remarks that, as a specialist on Latin America, I work on a region of the world which has been particularly receptive to a rights-based approach. Although I will draw my main examples from Latin America, and my
general arguments will no doubt reflect the bias of my regional expertise, I am going to begin by using some reflections on how Latin America might fit into a broader comparative context to address some of the possible limitations of universalizing the
principles of rights-based development. In the remainder of the paper I will look in more detail at the balance-sheet of the rights-based approach in the Latin American context.