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Call for input – Mandate on foreign debt and human rights - Multiple crises, fiscal systems and human rights

Issued by

Special Procedures


14 July 2023


Issued by Special Procedures


Foreign and external debt

Symbol Number



In the context of multiple crises affecting the world, this report will focus on interventions already in place that need to be strengthened and other, newer ones that need to be not just considered but implemented with some urgency in order to prevent the continued loss of human rights gains that is already happening across the world. There is a need for an international approach to fiscal matters, foreign debt and international financial obligations that will trigger a timely turnaround through course correction and continued vigilance, with a constant and steady eye on the most vulnerable.


The Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Ms. Attiya Waris wishes to thank States, civil society organizations and networks, NHRIs, academic institutions, think tanks, businesses, international organizations, individuals and other stakeholders for the continued engagement with this mandate. She launches the process of gathering inputs from States and other stakeholders to inform her thematic report on “Multiple crisis, fiscal systems and human rights”. The report will be presented at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in October 2023.


In her annual thematic report to the UN General Assembly, 78th session, the Independent Expert on debt, other international financial obligations and human rights, Ms. Attiya Waris, will address the links between multiple crises, fiscal systems and human rights.

The world is facing a situation of multiple crises, referring to crises of different nature taking place simultaneously across multiple countries or even globally. Some of these crises refer to foreign debt (debt servicing obligations, fiscal austerity), socio-economic (recession, supply side shocks, depreciation of currencies, inflation, bankruptcy, oil price hike, unemployment, poverty, inequalities, and illicit financial flows), health (COVID-19), environment (climate change and food insecurity), socio-political (armed conflicts and political instability) and human rights (gender, race, indigenous communities, minorities and other groups in vulnerable situations).

Key questions and types of input/comments sought

To facilitate the reception of inputs, the Independent Expert prepared a list of key information which she considers essential for the report. The list could be answered entirely or partially according to the expertise and experience of those actors willing to contribute to the Report. Please find the list of topics here (please refer to the number of the question in your response):


  1. What crises are affecting your country and region? What is their nature, scope and impact?
  2. What are the challenges being faced by your country in managing these crises, including on their differential and multi-dimensional impacts on disadvantaged groups and communities?

Interventions for a rights-based economy

  1. Please share initiatives or emergency interventions that your country has considered on a national, regional or global level to tackle and manage the impacts of different crises?
  2. From a rights-based economy perspective, have recovery plans and policies contributed towards ‘building back better’? Have human rights, gender, climate change, environment, food security, health and other related concerns been taken into consideration in these plans?
  3. What measures have been put in place by your country to ensure that it is mobilising its maximum available resources for the realisation of its human rights obligations in this era of multiple crises? What measures and mechanisms have been adopted to protect the fiscal space required to respond to the exceptional needs of the population during these crises in areas such as health, education, gender, food, and social security?

On ensuring human rights

  1. Are there practices, legislation or policies at national or regional level that could serve as positive case studies? Are there initiatives on international or regional cooperation that could be considered for this report, with specific reference where possible on climate emergency, health, debt, economy or other crises and human rights approaches to managing them? What is your Government’s/ Institution’s role on these initiatives and are these decisions consistent with human rights obligations?
  2. What are the gaps in the existing financial architecture and multilateral frameworks dealing with the scope and impact of the multiple crises?
  3. How should States address the arising needs and financial gaps exacerbated by the current crises while continuing to support the implementation of the development goals and ensure long-term growth? Could you highlight some good practices?
  4. What other issues ought to be addressed by the Independent Expert in this domain, both for her report to the General Assembly, 78th Session, and for other activities and initiatives that she may undertake in line with her mandate in the context of the multiple crises facing communities, nations, regions, and the world?
How inputs will be used

All submissions will be published on the website of the mandate. Non-state actors could request the confidentiality of the submission.