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Thematic priorities and issues in focus

Mr. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky who was appointed Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights in May 2014 identified in his first report to the General Assembly (A/69/273) six thematic priorities:

(a) preventive aspects of fiscal policy and debt management to avoid potential negative human rights implications of borrowing;
(b) international human rights law in the context of debt restructuring and debt relief;
(c) good practices to avoid negative human rights impacts in the context of debt crisis and economic adjustment programmes;
(d) human rights and debt arbitration in the context of bilateral investment treaties;
(e) lending to States and non-State actors involved in gross human rights violations; and
(f) the impact of illicit financial flows on human rights.

The Independent Expert promotes human rights accountability and monitoring, including through guidance on human rights impact assessments to protect against negative human rights impacts of finance and investment policies. The Independent Expert promotes and supports the participation of rights holders in the design and monitoring of public policies and budgets, including austerity measures.

International trade, debt and human rights: The Independent Expert presented his findings and recommendations on the linkages between international trade, debt and human rights in a report to the General Assembly in 2010 (A/65/260 and A/65/260/Corr.1 and participated in the Doha Conference on Financing for Development in Qatar from 29 November to 2 December 2008.

Mr. Cephas Lumina, Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt  from 2008-2014 has given specific attention to the following issues. (All the reports listed below are available at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/IEDebt/Pages/AnnualReports.aspx)

MDG 8 - Global partnership for development: Lessons for the post 2015 development framework of the United Nations. Report of the Independent Expert to the General Assembly, October 2013 (A/68/542)

Assessment of the human rights impact of international debt relief initiatives Report of the Independent Expert to the Human Rights Cocuncil, May 2013 (A/HRC/23/37)

Non-repatriation of illicit funds and human rights: Interim report by the Independent Expert to the Human Rights Council, March 2013 (A/HRC/22/42), and final report, March 2014 (A/HRC/22/52)

Foreign debt and women's rights: The Independent Expert focussed his 2012 report to the General Assembly on the impact of debt on women’s rights. (A/67/304).

Export credit agencies:In his 2011 report to the General Assembly, the Independent Expert explores the impact of export credit agencies-supported activities on sustainable development and the realization of human rights (A/66/271).

International trade, debt and human rights: The Independent Expert presented his findings and recommendations on the linkages between international trade, debt and human rights in a report to the General Assembly in 2010 (A/65/260 and A/65/260/Corr.1).

Vulture funds and human rights: The Independent Expert studies the impact of vulture funds litigations on the enjoyment of human rights in his 2010 report to the Human Rights Council to (A/HRC/14/21).

Illegitimate debt and human rights: In his 2009 report to the General Assembly, the Independent Expert explores the issue of creditor co-responsibility for what is termed “illegitimate debt,” given the recognition in the Monterrey Consensus that creditor and debtor countries are both equally responsible for preventing and resolving unsustainable debt situations (A/64/289).

Conceptual framework for foreign debt and human rights: The Independent Expert presents a conceptual framework for understanding the connection between foreign debt and human rights (based on international legal standards) and examines the value of a human rights-based approach to foreign debt in his 2009 report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/11/10).