The imf and Protection of Vulnerable Groups

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
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  • 1 Åbo Akademi University, Adjunct Professor of International Law, Finland

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The concept of vulnerability serves to focus protection on those most in need. While prominent in human rights law, protection of vulnerable groups is also increasingly invoked by international economic/financial actors such as the International Monetary Fund (imf). The present article explores how vulnerability enters imf policymaking. The article looks for points of contact of imf practice, with a human rights-based conception of vulnerability. The aim of the article is not to revisit the discussion on human rights accountability of the imf. Instead, the article seeks to identify and analyse the function of vulnerability in the policy-making of the Fund. The protection of vulnerable groups, the article claims, is gradually constituted as part of the law of the imf. For this reason alone, it is of importance to know how vulnerability enters imf policy-making and whom the imf considers vulnerable. Moreover, the imf also becomes a source for the identification of vulnerable groups.