Measuring the Human Rights Impact of Social Bonds
PI: Stephen Park
Social bonds, also known as “theme” bonds, are fixed-income debt instruments sold to investors that are used to finance projects with a defined social benefit (such as education, employment, housing, or healthcare). The social benefit incorporated into the financial instrument can be defined by reference to specific economic and social rights. A key challenge is how to measure the performance of a social bond in accordance with its underlying human rights objectives. This project examines the use of metrics and indicators, reporting standards, and monitoring frameworks in the context of the global social bond market. The project develops a typology that shows the relationships between the objectives of market participants (e.g., issuers and investors), the interests of various stakeholder groups, and the fulfillment of the human rights of intended beneficiaries for the purpose of evaluating potential regulatory approaches to social bonds.