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Since the 1970s, sovereign financing has become a predominantly debt- and market-based practice, with a pronounced transnational dimension. A growing number of states, including several advanced economies, increasingly rely on debt, global financial markets and international institutions to fund their sovereign functions. Monetary, economic and fiscal decisions and their human rights consequences, therefore, naturally transcend territorial boundaries. This chapter examines the nature and relevance of states’ extraterritorial human rights obligations (ETOs) in the realm of sovereign debt. After briefly introducing sovereign debt as a human rights issue and the relevant international law, the chapter will review the notion of ETOs, its reliance on the unsettled concept of jurisdiction and the main jurisdictional models so far developed by monitoring bodies. It will, then, examine the applicability of the latter to debt relationships, acknowledging, inter alia, the potentialities of the more recent ‘cause-and-effect’ jurisdictional model developed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) and the Human Rights Committee (CCPR), as well as some of their possible limitations.
by Emma Luce Scali, in The Routledge Handbook on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations.