Int'l financial institutions could protect their long term-prosperity by protecting civic freedoms & human rights defenders

Author: Asmara Klein, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Published on: 30 January 2019

"International Financial Institutions Must Stand Up for Civic Freedoms", 30 January 2019 

The IMF, like other international financial institutions and development banks, is a major source of financial and technical support for developing countries... it wields significant influence over economic policies in many countries. This is particularly true for resource-rich developing countries, where volatile commodity prices often cause financial instability and difficulties to repay lingering debt. With this formidable influence on economies, the IMF and other IFIs could be powerful agents of change by linking their regard for values like civic space and free debate of fiscal policy to their decision making. But they rarely do...IFIs should take action and use the tools at their disposal to protect local transparency activists. Even a seemingly technocratic initiative like the EITI has acknowledged the linkage between sound governance of extractive issues and broader civil society freedoms when it adopted the Civil Society Protocol to benchmark effective civil society participation in the extractive sector. IFIs must improve their engagement on this linkage too if they want to secure long-term prosperity. Developing their own tools and frameworks to measure civic space and effectively engage with local civil society actors would be an excellent start.   

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