Human Rights and Sovereign Debt Workouts
23 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2013 Last revised: 10 Apr 2014
Date Written: April 9, 2014
This paper argues that the development of a regime for sovereign debt workouts has created an asymmetry between the rights and interests of sovereign lenders and those of the population of a debtor state. It first analyzes the impact of sovereign debt workouts on human rights. Subsequently, it explores avenues for the justification of adjustment measures affecting human rights with a view to reconciling human rights with adjustment policies and rectifying the asymmetrical relationship. This includes the proposal of a checkbox test for adjustment programmes with retrogressive effects for human rights. Further, the paper discusses which actors besides the debtor state are bound by human rights. The concluding section argues that human rights impact assessments, among other procedural tools, might help reconciling the rights and interests of people living in debtor states with creditors’ rights and interests and cure the present asymmetrical relationship.
Keywords: sovereign debt workout, sovereign default, sovereign insolvency, sovereign bankruptcy, human rights, economic rights, social rights, structural adjustment programme
JEL Classification: F34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation