Economic and fiscal policy responses

List Map
Catalyzing Rights and Economic and fiscal policy responses

Relevant sources: ICCPR Arts. 1(1), 8; ICESCR Arts. 1(1), 6-9, 11(1); CEDAW Arts. 11, 13, 14(1), (2)(a), (c), (e), (g); CRC Arts. 26, 27(3), 32; CRPD Arts. 27-28, 32(1)(d); ICERD Arts. 5(e)(i), (iv); ICRMW Arts. 11, 25, 27, 43(1)(d), (e), 54; UDHR Arts. 4, 23, 25(1)

Core elements of the guarantee during the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Put into place a “mix of legal and policy measures to require and enable business enterprises to respect human rights when responding to the COVID-19 crisis” (OHCHR)
  • Take steps to “regulate and reform credit rating agencies . . . as part of the reform of the international financial architecture and debt crisis prevention and resolution” including by “allowing developing countries to have access to financial resources to strengthen economic, social and cultural rights during special circumstances, including situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters” (UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights)
  • Ensure that “[i]nternational cooperation and multilateralism” are components of “facilitating countries’ navigation of the . . . crisis and for laying the groundwork for a robust, sustained and inclusive global economic recovery” (UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights)
  • Put into place a “more comprehensive debt standstill” for those “countries with a high debt burden that have been hit hard by the pandemic and have requested debt relief” (UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights)
  • Provide “time and space to allow the economy to embark on a solid recovery before the introduction of fiscal consolidation or austerity measures, in line with human rights standards” (UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights)
  • Financially support “individuals and households in need” in phases that include “an emergency universal basic income and/or helping employers paying their wage bills” as well as “establishing a solid and universal social security and protection system, allowing for the realization of an adequate standard of living” (UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights)
  • Take “preventive measures” and conduct “human rights impact assessments of the economic policies under consideration or implementation” (UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights)
  • Increase “financial support and low-cost liquidity . . . to address the immediate health response and economic support needs in developing countries” (UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development)
  • Increase, in a “sustained” way, “the rapid disbursement of budget support by international organizations, including the World Bank and IMF, to developing countries” because “[f]iscal stimulus, in the form of unconditional grants, is necessary to address the urgent health-care needs of developing countries, provide a safety net for the most vulnerable, protect jobs and support economic activity where possible” (UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development)
  • Take a “comprehensive approach across three phases, involving all relevant creditors and all countries facing liquidity and solvency issues” with the phases consisting of “[a]n across-the-board debt standstill for all developing countries that have no access to financial markets and cannot service their debt,” “a more comprehensive assessment and options towards debt sustainability,” and “[a]ddressing structural issues in the international debt architecture to prevent defaults leading to prolonged financial and economic crises” (UN)

Further guidance can be found here: UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights: Note, Statement; UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights; UN Working Group on business and human rights: Report, Statement; Business and Human Rights Resource Centre


Briefing Paper

Structural and Systemic Change through COVID-19 Human Rights Measures

The “Structural and Systemic Change through COVID-19 Human Rights Measures” Briefing Paper highlights measures that explicitly aim to create structural and systemic change, including by emphasis on the concept of doing things differently than previously. In putting into place such measures, States have sought to demonstrate a commitment to transformative, structural, and long-term change.

Show me of advances during COVID-19

Showing 14 matching measures.

Measure Country
The Cabinet has Approved the Extension of the Credit Limit Approval Period for the EXIM Biz Transformation Loan Project from 31 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 Thailand

The government extended “the approval period for the EXIM [Export-Import Bank of Thailand] Biz Transformation Loan project of the Export-Import Bank of Thailand” through June 2023. The program is designed…

Statement by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Konstantinos Petridis in a joint press conference with the Ministers of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance and Health Cyprus

The government has provided different types of economic support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: in July 2020, this took the form of “one-time state support of € 100 million . ….

Economic Reform Program 2021-2023 Albania

This program consists of “Both monetary and fiscal measures . . . to give support to the Vulnerable and the Private Sector.” Regarding monetary measures: “the Supervisory Council of the…

558.0 Trillion Won Budget Passed for 2021 Korea, Rep.

The National Assembly passed the 2021 budget which “expands COVID-19 support and other supports for national priorities by 7.5 trillion won, while cutting 5.3 trillion won in other areas.” The…

Abu Dhabi’s AgTech Ecosystem Expands Across Land, Sea and Space United Arab Emirates

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) provided financial and non-financial incentives to three companies, totaling AED 152 million (USD 41 million). The research and technologies developed by these companies will…

Ghana’s National Adaptation Plan Project Launched in Accra Ghana

This “National Adaptation Plan (NAP) project” was launched by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation “to guide the process of integrating climate change into national decision-making and effective…

Implementation of the National Economic Recovery Program in Framework Supporting State Financial Policy for Management of the Coronavirus Disease Pandemic 2019 (COVID-19) Indonesia

Government regulation 23 forms the basis for the National Economic Recovery program (PEN) which is made up of “a series of activities towards recovery of the national economy which is…

Al-Rajihi Inaugurates Community Fund to Mitigate Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic Saudi Arabia

This “Community Fund,” the capital of which totals SR 500 million, is intended “to activate the contribution of endowments and non-profit sector in mitigating the impacts” of COVID-19. The fund…

CCSA (Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration) Measures Summarized from PM’s Statement on April 2, 2020 Thailand

As part of a series of measures related to COVID-19, the Prime Minister and Defense Minister announced “[e]conomic stimulus measures” including a “5,000-Baht subsidy for 3 months for over 9…

Commitment of Responsibility for Large Companies Benefitting from Economic Support Measures (Engagement de Responsabilité pour les Grandes Entreprises Bénéficiant de Mesures de Soutien en Trésorerie) France

Under France’s COVID-19 recovery measures, “a large enterprise that request[ed] an extension of tax or social security deadlines or a government-backed loan” was barred from “proceeding with stock buybacks during…

COVID-19 Economic Response, “Supporting the Flow of Credit” Australia

As one element of its “COVID-19 Economic Response,” the “Government, Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to support the flow of credit…

Icelandic Government Announces 1.6bn USD Response Package to the COVID-19 Crisis Iceland

In March 2020, the government “announced the first-phase response measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic” with a “package . . . equivalent to ISK 230 bn (USD…

KfW Special Program Extension Germany

The Federal Government and KfW, “one of the world’s leading promotional banks,” announced the extension of the “KfW special program,” originally launched in March 2020 “until December 31, 2021.” The…

Measures Undertaken by the Government in Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam Brunei Darussalam

The “Supporting and Assisting Businesses” section of this plan includes: “[d]eferment on principal repayments on loans for businesses and individuals affected in all sectors,” the waiver of “[t]rade and payment…

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