United Nations: Human Rights Experts Urge IMF Review of Austerity Policies that Adversely Impact Vulnerable Groups, Including Women and Girls
Saturday, January 27, 2018 6:20 PM

Several UN experts on human rights have sent an open letter to the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expressing concern about the IMF’s recent evaluation of the impact of its policies on social protections. In particular, the experts argue that the IMF’s evaluation “lacked a more thorough examination of whether policy advice or lending conditionalities” of the IMF were adequate to protect vulnerable populations, including women, children and the elderly. In particular, the experts described the “harsh effects” of IMF policies, including austerity measures, and how they can violate human rights by increasing the risk of poverty and restricting access to critical social services and medical care. They point out these measures can disproportionately harm persons working in “informal sectors,” often dominated by women.

The experts make several recommendations to the IMF based on international human rights standards, including monitoring “the impacts of macroeconomic policies on gender equality, particularly the impacts of austerity measures, and [taking] action to ensure the right to social security is enjoyed equally by women and men.”

The full list of UN Experts and Working Groups, as well as the IMF letter, are available on the UN website.

Compiled from: Letter from United Nations Human Rights, Special Procedures, Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups to Ms. Christine Lagarde, Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (December 21, 2017).