n African Human Rights Law Journal - Making sovereign financing and human rights work, J.P. Bohoslavsky & J.L. Černič (Eds.) : recent publications




Sovereign financing can empower governments to respect, protect and fulfil their human rights obligations, but at the same time it can fuel serious human rights violations. Debts contracted by countries enable them to implement their social and economic policy. However, these debts can also help deteriorate the human rights situation in a country, be it civil and political rights or economic and social rights. This is so because they can be in the form of the following: funding undemocratic governments; funding projects which are against human rights; funding corporations and financial institutions which violate human rights; sanctions which have a negative impact on human rights; and funding armed conflicts. The book attempts to answer the question about how to ensure better protection of human rights in the case of sovereign financing. It aims at filling the gap that exists in terms of reconciling sovereign financing with human rights. International organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are concerned with human rights and sovereign financing, have adopted different instruments (for example, the UN Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights (2011); the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011); and the UNCTAD Principles on Promoting Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing (2012)) to reconcile sovereign debts and human rights. Despite these instruments and the international attention given to sovereign debts after the crisis in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, little has been written on the impact of sovereign debt on human rights, and this book seeks to provide literature on the subject.


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