Human Rights Obligations of the World Bank and the IMF

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Cavendish Publishing, 2001 - Law - 240 pages
This book explores the human rights obligations of two of the largest international financial institutions, namely, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Based on international legal methodology, this book addresses these two institutions in public international law, and assesses the extent to which international law provides foundations for obligations in the field of human rights. This book analyses any possible obligations related to the effect of the two institutions own programmes and projects. The core of this analysis is focused on the two institutions international legal personality, and addresses their relationship to international law as legal subjects, rather than as a collectivity of states with international legal personality. Building on the traditional sources of international law, such as customary international law, general principles of international law and treaty law, the book concludes that the two institutions are under an obligation to respect human rights in their operations. This implies that they will break their obligations if they make the human rights situation worse as a result of their programmes or projects. It also concludes that the World Bank and the IMF are not under obligations to promote or fulfil human rights, but that they may legitimately do so if they can do it within their Articles of Agreement (the treaties establishing the institutions). The book also looks at the practical implications of the obligation to respect, which involves both substantial and procedural obligations. These obligations will, even if limited in their scope, imply that the two institutions need to include human rights checks in the planning, implementation and evaluation stages of projects and programmes. The final part of the book looks at redress possibilities in situations where either of the two institutions may be in breach of their human rights obligations

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