Humanising the global player: a human rights-based approach for bridging the accountability-gap of the International Monetary Fund

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Jennings, Satya
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Human rights accountability is indispensable for the legitimacy of powerful organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). By assessing the role of the world’s primary monetary agency regarding human rights and development, the paper discusses why the global actor must be answerable to the broad public for its policies. The objective of the present paper is to elaborate a practical accountability framework tailored to the IMF, consisting of the key elements transparency, stakeholder participation, evaluation and fair complaint mechanisms. These principles are commonly associated with good governance but in many ways, they are congruent with a human rights-based approach to development. This paper claims that international human rights standards must be an integral part of accountability mechanisms and of the IMF’s policies in general. For bridging the Fund’s current legitimacy deficit, the application of a human rights-based approach to development is suggested: It provides a practical instrument for the achievement of human rights accountability, containing benefits for the organisation which go beyond human rights. The paper concludes that a principles and a human rights-based approach potentially provides the IMF with a framework for human rights accountability but its operationalisation remains challenging.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles
accountability, human rights, International Monetary Fund