Financial crisis and consolidation/expansion measures
Social protection systems have played a key role in providing a social and economic buffer in time of crisis and have mitigated the negative social impacts resulting from an economic downturn. They have stabilized household incomes and aggregate demand, thereby contributing to economic recovery, employment and social cohesion. These experiences underscore that in time of crisis it is fundamental for countries to strengthen, rather than to shrink, social investments.
However, the increased pressures on public budgets have also limited the policy space for social protection, and have led to significant retrenchment in many countries, which in many cases negatively affect the realization of human rights.
Photo credit: “zanzibar 007” by holydog (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
Protecting pensions against austerity measures in Latvia
Summary: Latvian pensioners formed a petition and challenged the constitutionality of Latvia’s Law on State Pension and State Allowance Disbursement – commonly known as the ‘Disbursement Law’ – in the period from 2009 to 2012. The overall economy in Latvia was rapidly declining in 2009, and the Latvian Parliament, with advice from the International Monetary […]
Assessing Austerity: Monitoring the human rights impacts of fiscal consolidation
In the decade since the 2008 global economic crisis, fiscal austerity has become the new normal. In the name of fiscal discipline, governments in more than two-thirds of countries throughout the world have enacted drastic austerity measures like severe public expenditure cuts, regressive tax changes, and labor market and pension reforms, effectively disinvesting in human […]
Human Rights in Times of Austerity (Brazil)
One year into Brazil’s 20-year constitutional cap on public spending, the Center for Social and Economic Rights, the Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (INESC) and Oxfam Brazil have presented new empirical findings to the Brazilian Congress that illustrate austerity’s already severe impact on basic social and economic rights in the areas of food security, health and […]
The website makes the first comprehensive and transparent database of IMF-mandated policy reforms freely available to interested researchers and civil society organizations. The database systematizes the 58,406 conditions applicable to IMF programmes over the 1980-2014 period. The data was extracted from countries’ loan agreements with the IMF. This resource enables nuanced explanations of the economic, social […]
The Forthcoming Adjustment Shock
This policy brief is based on the working paper The Decade of Adjustment: A Review of Austerity Trends 2010-2020 in 187 Countries. Read the working paper here.
Alternatives to Austerity: a human rights framework for economic recovery
This article argues that the effects of the crises themselves are being compounded rather than relieved by the measures that many governments are taking in response. These are seriously threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of the poorest people, and are having a devastating effect on their enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). […]
Social protection floor for a fair and inclusive globalization
This report, prepared under the guidance of Ms Michelle Bachelet and members of the Advisory Group, shows that the extension of social protection, drawing on social protection floors, can play a pivotal role in relieving people of poverty and deprivation. It can in addition help people adapt their skills to overcome the constraints that block […]