World Bank, IMF And Human Rights

Human Rights become a fundamental international norm that facilitates due to transnational institutions like UN, IMF, WB, and WTO. Moreover, the recent phenomena of globalization tends to universalize HRs as a means of promoting the interest of economically powerful countries, because pro-globalization nations got HRs the best mechanism to unite the majority section of the world community.

IMF and WB are the giant financial institutions that operate all almost states of Africa. They help vulnerable states in building their capacity for enabling to run their internal institutions at their pinnacle capacity; to enable them to pay back their debt regularly and without affecting their national economy, expertise advice..etc. In doing so, the Bank and the Fund uses HRs as a condition for rendering their material, logistic, most importantly financial assistance. That means these huge institutions opt debt cancellation, aid, development assistances (Including formulating poverty reduction projects) based on a countries human right handling, promoting, respecting and fulfilling. Zimbabwe can be taken as an instance in Africa, since the Mugabe’s administration abuses fundamental human and people’s rights charter that articulated in the Banjul charter, development assistance is quit from IMF.70 Here, it can be noticed that IMF working on economic and development arena, so that it assessed a country’s realization of developmental rights, including the right to be out of poverty. Therefore, when we see the other side of the IMF sanction against Zimbabwe, it’s due to denying the peoples of Zimbabwe their right to development, housing, education, health, participation in decision making process. All these rights mentioned in the charter, therefore, the Zimbabwe government infringed, among other covenants, the Banjul charter it self. This means that, IMF also respect the charter in discharge of its functions in Africa.

In recent days, IMF and WB commence agreed to commence relief to undemocratic, bad governance administrations. So that, HRs status of a country becomes one of the main criteria to be qualified for the developmental assistance from IMF and WB. Again, since the IMF and WB assess previous records and reports of a countries HR handling, they also touch the human right to be free from poverty, in order to lend assistance, aid and relief for poverty reduction strategy and project of a country in Africa.

Above all, in 1946, the Bank and IMF concluded an agreement with the UNs (based on Art.63of the UN Charter), to operate as independent international organizations in HR field. If these countries have such obligation, ultimately they also have the same duty to respect the provisions and the principles of the Banjul charter, while they involve in poverty reduction of Africa.71 Moreover, economic and social rights, particularly play a significant role in the Bank’s decision making like debt relief, development assistance like poverty reduction projects.

BY Binyam Agegn




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