The G20, Financial Regulation and Human Rights

In the wake of the Wall Street debacle of 2008 and the threat of an impending new global depression, the Group of 20, created as a gathering of Finance Ministers in 1999, began to meet at Heads of State level, with an agenda that addressed reshaping of the international financial system and coordination of financial and monetary policies in the long term.

This primer argues that while it is proper to not confuse the G20 with a formal institution, let alone one with human rights mandates, its member countries should not try to escape the fact that they have human rights obligations to uphold. Indeed, their actions establishing financial regulation and economic policy trends have significant consequences for the realization and enjoyment of human rights.

This is fourth in a series of small briefs produced by the initiative “A bottom up approach to righting financial regulation.” The initiative comprises a consortium of networks and organizations with human rights advocacy mandates. Besides Center of Concern, it is integrated by Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), CIVICUS, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), IBASE, the Norwegian Center for Human Rights and Social Watch.

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