Finance

Jessica Evans on Human Rights Defenders at Risk by the World Bank

07 July 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently published a report which highlights the risks of reprisals human rights defenders face when they oppose projects financed by the World Bank. The report outlines how, in several projects around the world, security forces and government officials have threatened, arrested, or initimidated human rights defenders who challenge development projects that the World Bank has funded.

Some projects involve companies, and others government agencies. The World Bank and the International finance Corporation (the World Bank Group's private sector lending arm) have performance safeguards,  compliance mechanisms, including an inspection panel  and the office of an ombudsman, which provide guidance on how the projects should be designed, and how the borrower is expected to operate. But the record of cases the HRW has unearthed shows that the systems are not working, and human rights defenders are at risk.

IHRB's Salil Tripathi spoke to Jessica Evans, the Washington-based senior researcher and advocate who has been working on international financial institutions (IFIs) at Human Rights Watch. She has investigated violations in which the World Bank and other IFIs have been implicated. In the conversation Evans talks about how widespread the practice is, whether the safeguards are effective or not, and what the World Bank Group can do in the wake of the emergence of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS Bank which China and other developing countries are in the process of developing.

Download Filetype: MP3 - Size: 13.01MB - Duration: 14:13 m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Latest IHRB Publications

Bridging Sport and Human Rights in Africa

This article was first published on the Centre for Sport & Human Rights. IHRB founded the Centre in 2018, is supporting its development through 2020, and is closely involved in the developing work featured in this article.


 

Sport has a strong...

The Gig Economy Doesn’t Have to be an Exploitative Economy

On the 4th February 2019 the UK Union GMB and international courier company Hermes announced a ground-breaking deal. Their collective-bargaining agreement – the first ever recognition deal of its type – has potentially enormous implications for gig...

16 April 2019

Commentary by Mick Rix, National Officer, GMB Union

Rights and Wrongs - Can Machines Override Human Judgment on Air Safety?

Over the years, air travel has become remarkably safe – in 1977, four out of one million flights met with accidents; today, the number of flights has grown exponentially, and the accident rate has fallen to 0.4 out of a million. Air travel is safer...