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.