MJIEL Vol 15 Issue 1 2018 - Article 1

International Financial Regulatory Standards and Human Rights: Connecting the Dots
Motoko Aizawa, Daniel Bradlow and Margaret Wachenfeld
 
ABSTRACT: This paper’s hypothesis is that the international standard setting bodies (SSBs) could improve the quality of their international standards by incorporating a human rights analysis. It focuses on five SSBs and seven of their international standards and its findings include the following: First, the standards all implicate the right of non-discrimination, and the rights to information, privacy and an effective remedy. Second, they each raises economic, social and cultural rights issues, including the obligation to allocate ‘maximum available resources’ to the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights; the human rights responsibilities of private actors exercising delegated regulatory authority, and the need for financial decision-makers to account for all the impacts and risks of their decisions and actions. Third, the SSBs’ failure to utilize such international standards as the UNGPs, the PRI, and the Equator Principles means that they have not comprehensively addressed the risk factors facing the financial sector. Fourth, the benefits that the SSBs gain from utilizing a human rights analysis outweigh their costs. Fifth, there are manageable risks to human rights if the financial sector adopts a human rights approach.

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