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UN to study impact of China debt trap on Sri Lanka

By Easwaran Rutnam

 

A UN Independent Expert, will this week, study the impact of the Chinese debt trap on Sri Lanka.

The UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, will conduct an official visit to Sri Lanka from 3 to 11 September 2018, at the invitation of the Government.

Sources told The Morning that he will also look at the impact the “Chinese debt trap” has on Sri Lanka.

The Chinese debt trap is a result of huge loans taken by Sri Lanka from China over the years.

“My visit aims at collecting first-hand information and examine questions related to debt and other financial obligations from a human rights standpoint,” Bohoslavsky said in a statement earlier. “The purpose of the mission is to identify good practices, challenges and potential gaps to be addressed.

“An important objective of my visit is to study the effects of public debt and related polices on the full enjoyment of human rights.

“I am particularly interested in understanding how human rights standards are integrated in economic policies and examining ongoing reforms and programmes aimed at inclusive growth. I would like to grasp how these measures translate in potential improvements and challenges for the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights.”

During his visit, the Independent Expert will pay specific attention to the incorporation of human rights standards in international development financing, microfinance, and efforts deployed to prevent and combat illicit financial flows in the country.

“I look forward to engaging with the authorities of Sri Lanka, civil society, academics, the international community and other relevant stakeholders,” Bohoslavsky said.

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