Almost six years after the global financial crisis reminded everybody about the harm unaccountable finance can bring to the global economy if let loose, there can be little doubt about the human rights implications of financial regulation.
A recently-released video produced by Center of Concern asks viewers to ponder these implications. The video, intended as a tool to open dialogue on the connections between finance and human rights in classes, meetings, and other community-organizing opportunities, seeks to educate viewers regarding the need for financial policy makers to be held accountable to those in marginalized situations and poverty.
If finance is to be a tool for promoting social justice and reducing inequality then it needs to be deprived of the secrecy and complexity that surround it today. Country after country, the story is the same: small pockets of specialists tend to dictate the terms and conditions in which financial flows take place. Only by involving a more diverse set of stakeholders influencing what happens in finance can we hope its outcomes will be more reflective of an accountable and transparent social contract. Financial regulation is political, like every other aspect of public policy, so it needs to be recovered for the democratic process.
The video prompt people who watch it to ask more questions about how finance interrelates with rights. People asking the right questions is, indeed, the beginning of the educational process that can lead to financial regulations that work not just for a few, but for the whole of society.
In addition, the brief video seeks to stimulate action by offering recommendations on what each of us can do to address changes in local and global financial systems to promote and sustain equality and human dignity throughout society.
For many people who dared to ask “Why is financial regulation important for human rights?” the relevant question now is “What can we do?” For answers, watch the video, and keep watching this space.