Economic inequality, financial crises and human rights: report

12 January 2016
Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights
To the 31st session of the HRC


In this report, the Independent Expert explores the interrelationships between income and wealth inequality, on the one hand, and financial crises, on the other, and their implications for the enjoyment of human rights.

He illustrates how increased levels of such inequalities may contribute to increases in sovereign debt that may subsequently degenerate into financial crises. Furthermore, he examines the reverse relationship by assessing the distributional impact of financial crises and points to severe adverse effects on the enjoyment of human rights.

He concludes with a set of policy recommendations designed to target economic inequality as a pressing human rights issue and a factor contributing to the emergence of financial crises.