Emma Luce Scali

The Impact of Conditionality on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Latest Reports of the UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights

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Keywords: United Nations; Debt; Austerity; Conditionality; Human Rights; European Union.

On 27 and 28 December 2016, the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights submitted to the Human Rights Council his reports on, respectively, austerity measures and labour rights, and his 2016 visit to the institutions of the European Un-ion. The two reports discuss the impacts of conditionality on economic, social and cultural rights, particularly on labour rights and the rights to work, to health and to social security, reasserting that States and international organisations, including the EU, must abide by their human rights obligations when acting in the context of conditionality. This paper reviews these obligations, also in light of the controversial nature of conditionality, pointing at some of the shortcomings of the ESCR framework and at the need to approach the interrelationship between the economy and human rights from a different methodological perspective.

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