Developing Standards of Transparency, Participation and Accountability
The activities of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have a significant impact on people’s lives and their human rights. The obligations of the IFIs regarding human rights have been a hotly debated issue over the last few years, notably in the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on Human Rights which adopted several resolutions and decisions regarding the negative effects of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) on the full enjoyment of human rights. In addition, the negative influences of the World Bank’s development projects – such as involuntary evictions and serious environmental and social impacts – also have been criticised. From this perspective, this book argues that human rights standards should be developed in order to hold IFIs accountable for their decisions and for the impacts of their operations. As the Special Rapporteur on the right to food has observed: “These organizations are so powerful today that they have enormous influence on the policy and programmes of national governments, particularly in the poorer, weaker countries that are heavily indebted to the international financial system.” Thus, I argue in support of Reinisch who observes that: If it is true that “with power comes responsibility” then it is only logical to demand human rights observance by those non-state actors which are now as powerful as some states and may thus violate human rights in the same way as states.