Intl. Financial Institutions can be held responsible for human rights impacts of austerity policies, UN expert says

Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Published on: 16 September 2019

"Financial institutions complicit in impact of austerity measures on human rights", says UN expert, 10 Sep 2017

Austerity measures imposed by international financial institutions such as the IMF, regularly cause violations of human rights, says UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights... in a report to be presented to the UN General Assembly in October.  “Even though austerity can be a useful tool...against the squandering of resources, ...austerity impacts different social groups [very differently], especially the most vulnerable and marginalised,” says Bohoslavsky. “Although States are the main guarantors of human rights,... Financial institutions can also be held responsible if they are complicit in prescribing policies with probable negative impacts on human rights,” [he] said...  “[A]usterity measures often lead to reduced food subsidies, and cuts in essential public services. They have a negative impact on salaries and on...housing, infrastructure, health and education"... "From an economic viewpoint, there is no evidence [they] contribute to recovery. But there is much clearer evidence of the negative impact...,” Bohoslavsky says... International human rights law prevents countries from being forced to fully repay their debts at the expense of increases in child mortality, unemployment or malnutrition.... The Human Rights Council... voted on the Guiding Principles on Human rights impact: assessment of economic reform policies... [which] explicitly addresses...responsibilities of international financial institutions...

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