n Journal for Juridical Science - An assessment of the human rights obligations of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with particular reference to the World Bank's Inspection Panel

Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-252X



The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("the World Bank") and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were created in the aftermath of the Bretton Woods Conference to, inter alia, assist in the reconstruction of member states and to provide a framework which facilitates the exchange of goods, services and capital, respectively. Over the years, however, the Bank and the IMF have developed new roles and have become the most important sources of development finance or facilitators of such assistance to developing countries. The assumption of new roles has cast attention on the place of human rights in the activities of the two institutions. In particular, concerns have been raised about the adverse effects of the policies and activities of the two institutions, especially on human rights. Nevertheless, the two institutions deny that they have any legal obligations to protect and promote human rights. On the assumption that development and human rights are strongly interlinked, this paper examines the human rights implications of the policies and activities of the two institutions and explores the extent to which they are bound, as specialised agencies of the United Nations, to promote and protect human rights.

Die Internasionale Bank vir Heropbou en Ontwikkeling ("die Wêreldbank") en die Internasionale Monetêre Fonds (IMF) is in die lewe geroep tydens die nadraai van die Bretton Woods-konferensie, om onder andere te help met die heropbou van lidlande en om 'n raamwerk te verskaf wat die uitruiling van goedere, dienste en kapitaal onderskeidelik bevorder. Oor die jare heen het die Bank en die IMF egter nuwe rolle ontwikkel en het hul die belangrikste bronne van ontwikkelingsfinansies of fasiliteerders van sodanige hulp aan ontwikkelende lande geword. Die aanname van nuwe rolle het die aandag gevestig op die plek van menseregte in die werksaamhede van die twee instellings. Daar is veral kommer uitgespreek oor die nadelige uitwerking van die beleide en werksaamhede van dié twee instellings, veral op menseregte. Nietemin ontken die twee instellings dat hul enige wetlike verpligtinge het om menseregte te beskerm en te bevorder. Met die aanname dat ontwikkeling en menseregte onderling verbind is, ondersoek hierdie referaat die menseregte-implikasies van die beleide en werksaamhede van die twee instellings en verken die mate waarin hul, as gespesialiseerde agentskappe van die Verenigde Nasies, verbind word om menseregte te bevorder en te beskerm.

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