Tamil Information Centre
User Name:   
Password:   
  Remember Me  
Sign up  |  Forget password
Home   
Search
    Contact us
Sri Lanka: Human rights to dismantle debt trap, says UN expert
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Wednesday)

Human rights must be at the centre of measures by Sri Lanka to promote economic growth that would include everyone, says a UN expert. 

“The Sri Lankan Government should undertake an assessment of the human rights impact of both its economic reform policies and infrastructure projects,” said Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt on human rights, presenting a statement at the end of a nine-day visit to the country. 

“The strategy chosen by the Government, as recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was to stabilise the economy by strengthening the fiscal and external sectors via international borrowing. It also included developing mega infrastructure projects, many of them launched during previous administrations,” said Mr. Bohoslavsky. 

“Servicing this debt is now the country’s most important expenditure, and a significant amount of borrowing is being allocated for this purpose,” he added. 

“However, social spending should not be cut in order to repay growing debts if less harmful policy options are available. There are other options to consider. These include boosting domestic demand through progressive tax reforms, expanding social benefits, increasing minimum wages and renegotiating the debt with creditors in order to generate revenues to ensure that no one is left behind,” Mr. Bohoslavsky stressed. 

“There is a consensus that a greater mobilisation of resources is needed. It has been estimated that the majority of all illicit financial flows in the world are related to cross-border tax-related transactions. However, because tax evasion is not considered a predicate offence in the country, banks do not have a duty to report suspicious transactions of their clients in relation to tax evasion. I urge the Government to close this legal gap,” the expert said. 

Since the end of the war in 2009, large-scale infrastructure projects including the Colombo Outer Circular Expressway, power plants, the Hambantota Port and Hambantota Airport have been started across the country. 

“The Sri Lankan legal framework does not establish the obligation to conduct a comprehensive human rights impact assessment of such infrastructure projects before they are started. So, I advise the Government to pass robust and comprehensive laws on the issues based on existing international human rights standards,” said Mr. Bohoslavsky. 

“I have also paid specific attention to microfinance, which has helped to lift many people around the world out of poverty by enabling borrowers to maintain their livelihoods. However, the number, frequency and seriousness of abuses by lenders that I have noted in the country call for urgent action by the State." 

“I found that while there was a large number of borrowers, women in areas that are poor and affected by war, are specially targeted by microfinance lenders. Those institutions charge up to 220 percent interest rates for their loans and apply compound interest. The mechanism has been designed to make huge profits for the lenders and put a very heavy burden on the shoulders of the largely poor female borrowers,” the expert stressed. 

“It is common to see women with three or four outstanding loans from different lenders at the same time, while some others borrow more to avoid defaulting on the loans they already have. Collectors go to borrowers’ houses to collect the instalments due, sometimes on a daily basis. Some stay at the family home for hours until they are repaid." 

“Women are at times exposed to psychological and physical violence by these collectors and it was brought to my attention that, in some cases, they were pressured by collectors to exchange ‘sexual favours’ for outstanding instalments. I have also learned of cases of borrowers who have tried to sell their kidneys for money to repay loans,” Mr. Bohoslavsky added. 

“I urge the Government to establish an interest rate cap for these institutions and also to pass and implement robust and strict regulation. There should be guidelines in line with human rights standards on how microcredit lenders should assess credit risks. I also urge the Government to declare a moratorium on the debts, until this legislation is passed, in order to prevent groups in situations of vulnerability from being exploited and abused by lenders,” the expert stressed. 

The Independent Expert will submit a comprehensive report about his visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2019.

 

ENDS

Source: UN Human Rights Council

Share on Facebook


 Latest 25 News/ பிந்திய 25 செய்திகள்:
அனுபவம் மிக்க சிரேஸ்ட தொகுப்பாளர் N.T Jegan அவர்களோடு info4tamils இணைய வழி தொலைக்காட்சியினூடக கண்காட்சி பற்றிய கலந்துரையாடல்
பிரசுரிக்கபட்ட திகதி: 12/09/2018 (வியாழக்கிழமை)
இலங்கைத் தமிழர்கள்: காலவரையறையற்றதொரு பாரம்பரியம் என்ற கண்காட்சிதொடர்பான தமிழ் தகவல் நடுவத்தின் (TIC) உத்தியோகபூர்வ அறிக்கை
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Thursday)
கண்ணீர் அஞ்சலி
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Thursday)
Report reveals bone samples belong to 1499-1719 AD era
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Monday)
Northern Province’s Economic Development Framework
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Monday)
OMP welcomes inclusion of its interim relief proposals in budget
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Monday)
Raghavan to take public concerns to UNHrc
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Saturday)
Jaffna to get Olympic-standard aquatic complex
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Saturday)
Treat women and girls with respect - EDITORIAL
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Saturday)
Vandalizing archaeological sites - Cabinet approves upping fines, jail terms
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Saturday)
Right time to abolish executive presidency - JVP
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Saturday)
International Court Of Justice & The ‘Ceylon Tamils’
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Saturday)
British Tamil Students Build War-Torn Mullaitivu's First Media Centre
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Friday)
Joint Press Release: Sri Lanka sends war crimes denier to Geneva as part of official delegation.
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Thursday)
Karannagoda drags Gota into mass murder case
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Monday)
Tamils’ Hopes Fading: Every Village Is Sinhalese? Rāghavan Sacked?
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Sunday)
106 Tamil Diaspora Groups Jointly Urge UNHRC Not to Give any more Additional Time to Sri Lanka - Urge to Refer to ICC
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Sunday)
Ten Years After A War Without Witnesses: Global Tamil Forum Calls To Ensure Sri Lanka Firmly Remains On The UNHRC Agenda
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Sunday)
Human Rights Council 40: UK Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Saturday)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, while speaking at the Kilinochchi District development review meeting, blamed the Northern Provincial Council authorities, saying that they have almost become inactive towards the problems faced by the people in North.
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Friday)
Ranil blasts Northern Provincial Council
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Friday)
Approval for TRC mechanism Navi Pillay blasts Govt
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Thursday)
A New ‘Washington Consensus’ ‘Indo–Pacific’ and India’s Emerging Role
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Thursday)
US resumes Millennium Challenge aid to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Thursday)
An American among 102 applied for hangman's post
Published Date: 12/09/2018 (Thursday)
Donate
Support our work to bring rights to life in any way big or small
 Amount:

Donate using PayPal

Select dates to view
past and future events
<<<Apr - 2019>>>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    
 Stand up for Rights and Justice
Grant 18 year old Saudi Woman Rahaf asylum in the UK
Read more...
Take Action
Call to Ban Monsanto’s pesticide
Trump’s child hostages
Set Noura Free -- sign now!
Latest Publication
Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages Conference Report:

Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages

Read more...

Thiruvalluvar
About us
Site Help
Getting in touch
Other
Facebook Youtube twitter
Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions
Copyright © 2019 ticonline.org, All rights reserved.