Independent Expert: IMF Policies Undermine Human Rights
International Monetary Fund loan policies undermine the UN's human rights and development goals, says an independent expert, an associate of the humanitarian organization.
According to him, in countries that face poverty and health crises, such policies can weaken social spending and hamper respect for human rights and lead to rising unemployment, lower labor standards, and damage to public health and the environment .
"Human rights in lending can no longer be neglected," writes Alfred de Zayas, part of the UN Human Rights Council, with responsibility for promoting fairness in the international order.
"I regret the fact that international lending practices sometimes contradict UN objectives not only in the field of human rights but also in achieving the goals of sustainable development."
In his report, he said the IMF insists on aggressive privatization and rigorous measures.
"Following the political crises, debt and economic turmoil in Greece, Argentina and Tunisia, IMF policies impose extreme conditions that require cuts in social spending, while millions have no access to health care or are unemployed but do not receive unemployment benefits . This year, the financial institution postponed the repayment of loans to Tunisia, demanding the privatization of state-owned banks and the removal of 10,000 jobs in the public sector, "said de Zayas.
The expert also quoted an academic comment that IMF supported conditions which required borrowers to demonstrate rapid growth and conservative fiscal policies and how that weakened the ability of African countries to handle the Ebola epidemic in 2014.
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