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 rights.
The briefing outlines practical guidance for policymakers, oversight bodies, civil society actors and others seeking to assess and address the foreseeable human rights consequences of austerity. It offers an adaptable methodological framework to inform the content and process of conducting effective Human Rights Impact Assessments of fiscal consolidation measures. Further, the briefing demonstrates why a human rights assessment of austerity is at once necessary, feasible and ultimately quite valuable in advancing a suite of alternative policies that would prevent harmful forms of fiscal consolidation in the future.
The principle of equality and non-discrimination requires States to ensure that social protection programmes meet the standards of accessibility, adaptability, acceptability and adequacy for all rights holders. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) has recommended these standards through several General Comments including 13, 14 and 19. Accessibility means making the social protection […]