The paper presents a strategy for poor people to achieve their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The paper asserts that international development targets for the poor can only be achieved with their active engagement and that a human rights approach provides a means of empowering people to take control of their lives. DFID has identified participation, obligation and inclusion as the three operational principles that apply to the achievement of human rights for all people. By outlining the international human rights framework and considering recent experiences in improving poor people's access to human rights, the paper notes the large gap between the aspirations of the Universal Declaration of human rights and the realities of poor people's lives. The paper urges the international community to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing governments in poorer countries and identifies the roles and responsibilities of key development actors. DFID's priorities to support a pro-poor agenda are set out and measurement of progress in the area through participatory human rights assessments and other quantitative indicators are considered.