Jul 22, 2016 by members

African groups call on World Bank to strengthen protections

Thirty-four African human rights and environmental groups sent a letter to the World Bank this week expressing concerns with a weakening of the Bank’s social and environmental policy framework. The statement reiterates the inputs of African civil society groups who throughout the multi-year “Safeguards Review” have called for robust protections to prevent harm to communities and the environment in the context of development activities. The groups expressed disappointment that those inputs do not appear to have been taken on board. In response to assertions that human rights protections, including protections for the rights of indigenous peoples, may somehow be incompatible with African nations, the statement explains how such norms and safeguards are in fact rooted in regional law and practice. The World Bank will vote August 4th on whether to approve a new draft environmental and social policy framework. The groups appealed to the World Bank Board and its member countries to “take the concerns raised in the statement into consideration and ensure that the shortcomings in the safeguards draft are remedied so that our communities are able to benefit from development and are protected from harm.” Read the statement here.