Apr 19, 2021 by Coalition
On 16 April 2021, as part of the Defenders in Development campaign, the Coalition presented a joint submission – together with press freedom organizations Article19, Comittee to Protect Journalists and IFEX – to the UN Human Rights Council for their upcoming report on Covid-19 and journalist safety. You can read the full submission here.
Around the world journalists, bloggers, media and medical workers, human rights defenders and all those who are scrutinizing or raising concerns for inadequate or non-transparent responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are under attack.
The pandemic has exacerbated an already dire situation and many governments have used COVID-19 as an excuse to further restrict civic space and quash any form of dissent. In numerous countries, those reporting on COVID-19 have faced threats, online harassment, imprisonment, torture, forced public apologies and even killings. Many governments have also approved restrictive laws that severely undermine the right to freedom of expression, while states of emergency – with the ensuing restrictions to civic space – have been normalized and in some cases become permanent.
Public development banks – that by definition should be accountable to the public, as they are owned and controlled by governments – have played a crucial role in providing funds for the response to the pandemic. Yet, they have failed to uphold their commitments to engage effectively with their stakeholders and ensure people could safely express their concerns or scrutinize the COVID-19 response that they were contributing to fund.
In a rapidly evolving situation like a pandemic, information is key. Many bank projects explicitly include social media and communications campaigns as part of the COVID-19 response. Yet, in many countries journalists have been attacked when providing crucial information or debunking dangerous misinformation. Many others might have stayed silent because of fear of possible retributions.
For a successful and effective COVID-19 response, the right to freedom of expression must be guaranteed, media should be able to report freely and safely, civil society should have the space to engage without fearing retaliations, and the voices of journalists and human rights defenders must be protected.
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May 23, 2023 by CHRD
Over 45 African and international organizations call on the AfDB to open spaces for civil society and communities during the Annual Meetings and beyond.
Feb 20, 2023 by CHRD
More than twenty organizations from Latin America and the United States addressed a letter to the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Ilan Goldfajn. They ask that the Bank strengthens its work by ensuring respect for human rights and the protection of the environment and by cre
Nov 16, 2022 by CHRD
In a joint open letter, a group of over 25 international organizations has expressed serious concerns for the threats faced by the human rights defenders who are part of Movimiento Rios Vivos and who are leading a powerful struggle against the Hidroituango dam.
Nov 07, 2022 by CHRD
A group of civil society organizations from several countries in the region, partners and allies of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development, addressed an open letter to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) regarding the current selection process for the Bank’s presidency. Th
Oct 26, 2022 by CHRD
On October 22, in Dakar, the police arrested Babacar Diouf, programme officer of Lumière Synergie pour Développement (LSD), and 25 members of the Collective of community members impacted by the Regional Express Train project (TER), including five women.
Oct 14, 2022 by CHRD
On October 19-20, the leaders of the world's public development banks will gather for the "Finance in Common" Summit.
Sep 16, 2022 by CHRD
Over 30 civil society groups signed a joint letter with a series of recommendations for the ADB on how to prevent and address reprisals.
Sep 09, 2022 by CHRD
Welcome to the first edition of the Coalition's quarterly newsletter!
Aug 17, 2022 by CHRD
Over 130 civil society organizations have signed a joint letter to urge the authorities in Mongolia to stop reprisals against human rights defender Sukhgerel Dugersuren
Jun 08, 2022 by CHRD
Thirty-three organisations from around the world have signed a statement arguing that the World Bank has not learnt crucial lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and broader health financing evidence. Download the statement here In May, the World Bank (WB), in collaboration with the World Health O
Jan 31, 2022 by CHRD
We are beginning 2022 with the world reeling under rising Omicron cases. It has been two years since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. And we still have pressing questions around how we shepherd ourselves out of the pande
Jan 30, 2022 by CHRD
PRESS RELEASE 31 January, 2022 – International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have designated billions of dollars to respond to the pandemic and related social and economic crises. Yet, there is a concerning lack of transparency on how these funds were spent and serious doubts on whether t
Jan 25, 2022 by CHRD
#Dev4Africa is a campaign launched by grassroots groups, Indigenous Peoples, civil society organizations, communities, workers, women, and other right-holders and allies who share the common belief that fair and sustainable development in Africa is possible. The campaign supporters want t
In June 2021, the Coalition held an online strategic conversation with its members and partners in Latin America, to learn more about the work in progress, reflect on challenges and achievements, and outline collective strategies. This infographic below summarizes the main results and the area
Oct 18, 2021 by members
On October 18, ahead of the second edition of the Finance in Common (FIC) summit, over 280 civil society organizations and grassroots groups – including many members and allies of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development – have signed a letter calling on public development banks
Sep 10, 2021 by CHRD
On September 9, a group of organizations sent an open letter to the African Development Bank and the Nordic Development Fund, calling on them to take immediate actions to address reprisals against a community in Uganda impacted by the Wadelai irrigation project.
Aug 20, 2021 by CHRD
The World Bank approved a COVID-19 loan for Turkmenistan, despite journalists reporting on the pandemic there being thrown in jail.
Jul 19, 2021 by CHRD
On Tuesday July 27 (1 pm UTC time) join us for a webinar where we will launch the report "Unhealthy Silence" and present its key findings.
Apr 30, 2021 by CHRD
In March 2020, IDB Invest and IFC’s released a new guidance which lays out 10 steps companies should take to screen, prevent and respond to reprisals. In this blog, Hannah Storey analyses the document and explains why, although this is a welcome and important step, much more is needed to truly tackle reprisals.
Mar 17, 2021 by members
International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and States must work directly with civil society and other stakeholders on COVID-19: collaborating with the junta on public health would jeopardize Myanmar’s COVID-19 response, legitimize the junta, and harm public health in the long term. On 17 Ma
Mar 02, 2021 by members
Myanmar’s nationwide civil disobedience movement (CDM), based on “no recognition, no participation,” is key to stopping the military from consolidating power after its 1 February 2021 coup d’état. Multilateral finance institutions (MFIs) must support the CDM, stating they will not deal with
Nov 30, 2020 by CHRD
In November, 450 public development banks from around the world met for the Finance in Common Summit at the Paris Peace Forum. They gathered to discuss how they can direct their combined investments of over USD 2 trillion – 10% of total investments in the world – “to support the transformation or the
Nov 18, 2020 by CHRD
On November 9, the Coalition for Human Right in Development members and partners (Accountability Counsel; Arabwatch Coalition; Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organization; Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies; Center for Financial Accountability; Earthrights Internation
Oct 08, 2020 by CHRD
Around the world, journalists, bloggers, medical workers, human rights defenders and all those who are raising concerns for the inadequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic are under attack. In an attempt to silence their dissenting voices, they are being accused of spreading false informatio
Jun 26, 2020 by CHRD
The lush forests of the Sierra Madre mountain range, on the Philippine island of Luzon, have been home to the Dumagat-Remontados indigenous peoples for centuries. But their ancestral lands are now under threat. In this area, the Philippine government is planning to build the Kaliwa Dam, despite
May 18, 2020 by CHRD
May 18, 2020 – In a statement published today, the Coalition urged development finance institutions to ensure that the funding and support they provide for the Covid-19 response, and during the economic recovery period, upholds human rights and leads to economic justice for those who are m
May 13, 2020 by CHRD
The Coalition uncovered several trends on how COVID-19 measures are impacting frontline communities opposing internationally financed development projects. Using data provided by its community engagement partners and allies, the Coalition found common trends among communities from Asia
Jan 29, 2020 by members
Coalition member Frontline Defenders released its Global Analysis 2019, a report reviewing the state of the world for human rights defenders in 2019. The report details the physical assaults, defamation campaigns, digital security threats, judicial harassment, and gendered attacks faced
Oct 22, 2019 by CHRD
Join us for a Webinar October 30 to discuss the report “Uncalculated Risks: Threats and attacks against human rights defenders and the role of development financiers”. This groundbreaking report from the Defenders in Development Campaign uses 25 case studies from around the globe
Oct 10, 2019 by members
Environmental activists at mercy of business at all costs - new report shows how investors must take action
Jun 04, 2019 by CHRD
From Colombia to Kenya, 25 cases of threats and attacks against human rights defenders reveal how development financiers can fuel abuses or help fight them JUNE 4, 2019 – A new report from the Coalition for Human Rights in Development and the Defenders in Development Campaign reveals the ala
Jun 04, 2019 by CHRD
Together with the Defenders in Development Campaign, we launched today the new report “Uncalculated Risks: Threats and attacks against human rights defenders and the role of development financiers.” With 25 case studies from around the world, the report exposes the risks of megap
Mar 01, 2019 by members
The U.S. Supreme Court decided today that international organizations like the World Bank Group can be sued in U.S. courts for violating the human rights of local communities. Congratulations to the fishing and farming communities of Gujarat India, Machimar Adhikaar Sangharsh Sangathan fishe
Jan 21, 2019 by members
International Accountability Project (IAP) released a new set of community guides to help communities conduct their own research and in the process define their development priorities and aspirations. The “Community Action Guide on Community-Led Research” set of 3 booklets provides clear an
Nov 12, 2018 by CHRD
Groups encourage development of robust protocols for implementation given growing threats November 12, 2018 — Human rights groups and accountability organizations welcomed the International Finance Corporation’s recently released Position Statement on Retaliation Against Civil Socie
Sep 06, 2018 by CHRD
Around the world, as megaprojects and investments are imposed on communities without their consent or consultation, those working to protect their lands and resources, fight corruption, and defend human rights are under increasing attack. For this reason, the Coalition for Human Rights in
May 22, 2018 by CHRD
As the African Development Bank (AfDB) meets in Busan, South Korea from May 21-25 to discuss Industrialising Africa, Civil society Organisations (CSOs) from across the continent red flagged the Bank’s steer towards mega investments without a clear action plan for human centred inclusive development.
From February 28, 2018 to March 4, 2018 in Costa Rica, countries and civil society groups are negotiating the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, also known as LAC P10. If adopted a
Dec 15, 2017 by CHRD
12-13 NOVEMBER 2017 PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA This is a communiqué reflecting the outcomes of the Development and Investment in Africa Workshop held on 12-13 November 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa, and organized by the Coalition for Human Rights in Development together with African Coalition for
Dec 11, 2017 by CHRD
[This article was originally published online in July in Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales’ 2017 Environmental Report. It is being reposted here in honor of Human Rights Day] Across Latin America and the world, governments and investors are pushing for a dramatic increase in
Oct 30, 2017 by CHRD
A UN report released last week (Oct. 25) highlights the growing attacks on human rights defenders in the context of business and investment activities, including development finance. “Through their financing and technical support, a complex range of public and private institutions continue t
Sep 27, 2017 by CHRD
On September 26, 2017, the Coalition for Human Rights in Development co-hosted a ‘Demystifying Development Banks’ webinar with a special focus on Asia, where many countries have been shown to be among the most dangerous for human rights and environmental defenders who confront infrastructure
According to Caio Borges, Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez and Supriya Roychoudhury, if question marks on the future of BRICS are repeatedly raised, the New Development Bank (NDB) is probably the most concrete avenue through which the grouping can deepen co-operation. The NDB’s stated commitment to su
Two of the primary backers of the Agua Zarca hydropower dam project in Honduras have officially announced their exit from the project following years of campaigning by local indigenous groups and criticism from international civil society organizations. In a press release issued on July 6, the D
Jul 07, 2017 by CHRD
Coalition Coordinator, Gretchen Gordon, recently participated in a webinar hosted by the CIVICUS World Alliance for the launch of their report, ‘State of Civil Society 2017.’ Gordon’s presentation, based on her guest essay accompanying the report, focused on how the private sector is playing a
Jun 29, 2017 by members
The World Bank is providing cover for a government system of child labor and forced labor in Uzbekistan, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch and the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. The report, “‘We Can’t Refuse to Pick Cotton’: Forced and Child Labor Linked to World Bank Group Inve
Mar 08, 2017 by CHRD
Read the full report: English | Spanish | French Partnering with Communities to Defend Human Rights In 2016 the Coalition engaged in partnerships with communities around the world to connect community struggles with strategic resources and campaign support and to bring community expertis
Feb 14, 2017 by CHRD
This week 32 organizations called on the World Bank Board of Directors to urge them to ensure that the Bank takes all measures necessary to remedy harm caused to four Maasai villages displaced to make way for the Olkaria IV geothermal project in Kenya. The Kenya Electricity Expansion Project (KEEP)
Dec 08, 2016 by CHRD
Global groups call for action to protect human rights in development Ahead of Human Rights Day, December 10th, the Coalition for Human Rights in Development joins with over 50 civil society groups around the world to call on financial institutions, governments and businesses to stand up for human
Dec 02, 2016 by members
This month, 18 human rights and environmental organizations called on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States’ development finance institution, to strengthen its human rights due diligence. OPIC is presently revising its social and environmental polic
Nov 16, 2016 by CHRD
The Coalition for Human Rights in Development this week called on the Dutch Development Bank FMO to strengthen its commitment to human rights and to enact strong due diligence requirements to ensure that human rights are respected within FMO-financed activities. FMO is presently revising its Su
Aug 23, 2016 by members
In a recent blog titled “World Bank Covers Up Human Rights Abuses in Nepal: Silencing Community Voices“, the Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) together with Coalition member Accountability Counsel calls out the World Bank for ignori
In an opinion piece in Foreign Policy magazine, Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, explains how the goal of sustainable development is under threat from growing restrictions on public participation in development and closing civ
Jul 21, 2016 by members
Environmental activists and civil society groups in Macedonia working to defend their rights in the face of harmful development projects financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other development banks, are increasingly threatened and harassed. In an article
Jul 12, 2016 by members
Coalition member Human Rights Watch reports that three human rights defenders have lodged a formal complaint against the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) regarding forced labor in the Uzbek cotton industry. The complaint demands an investigation of forced labor l
The New York Times editorial board today called on the World Bank to “champion human rights” through its new safeguards policy framework presently under consideration by the Bank’s board of directors. The Times cited that despite the fact that the institution’s own re
On June 16th, the Palestinian human rights organization, Al-Haq, urged the World Bank to explicitly address the need for human rights safeguards for investments in conflict-affected areas during the Bank’s ongoing safeguard policy reform process. The Bank has announced plans to increase inve
Jun 02, 2016 by members
Coalition member ESCR-Net is calling on leaders of OAS member states to address the financial crisis currently hindering the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ ability to operate as a key regional human rights mechanism. The crisis has already caused the IACHR to suspend its 159th and 16
Honduran social movements and indigenous peoples organizations this week called on the World Bank to in light of persistent attacks on human rights defenders, suspend financing in Honduras “until there are minimally just and realistic conditions for indigenous and small farming
May 26, 2016 by members
African civil society groups, including Coalition member Lumière Synergie pour le Développement, called on the African Development Bank this week to increase its accountability and engagement with civil society and to embrace pro-poor investment strategies that support public sector servi
May 20, 2016 – The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other top UN indigenous peoples experts sent a letter Friday to World Bank President Jim Kim and the Bank’s executive directors, challenging a proposal that would weaken protections for indigenou
May 11, 2016 by members
Coalition member Forest Peoples Programme has released a report on the impacts of deforestation and forest degradation on indigenous and local communities in the DRC, highlighting the human rights violations and socio-environmental impacts often caused by these activities. The report also c
May 04, 2016 by members
Peter Bosshard, interim ED of Coalition member International Rivers, explains how indigenous communities are particularly at risk of landgrabbing and face increasing repression, even death when standing up for their rights. Read the article here.
NDB project funding has been the subject of intrigue and concern among civil society organizations (CSOs) since the bank’s formal launch in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2014. Yet news of these first ‘green’ loans has done little to ease their fears. The problem, CSOs say, is that since the NDB still lacks a
Apr 12, 2016 by members
As government ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gather in Washington, DC for the third board of governors meeting of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) April 13 and 14, civil society groups in BRICS countries appealed to their governments and NDB management to operate
Apr 05, 2016 by CHRD
While the World Bank’s motto is to “End Poverty” and promote sustainable development, too often Bank investments disregard the human rights and priorities of poor communities, leaving them worse off. As the World Bank prepares to host finance ministers from across the globe
In a victory for indigenous and human rights activists, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) announced Friday the suspension of its financing of the Agua Zarca Dam. The Honduras dam project has been a focal point for international attention following the killing of h
Mar 30, 2016 by CHRD
In the face of rapidly shrinking civil society space and growing attacks on human rights and environmental defenders, sign this statement (English, French, Spanish, Arabic) on the Responsibility of International Financial Institutions to Ensure Meaningful and Effective Participation and
With the BRICS New Development Bank set to open its regional office in Johannesburg and approve its first set of projects for financing in the next weeks, South African civil society groups raise concerns about lack of transparency or consultation with potentially affected communities. The NDB h
Mar 16, 2016 by CHRD
The Coalition for Human Rights in Development submitted recommendations today urging the World Bank to amend its proposed Environmental and Social Framework to meaningfully address human rights. The submission addresses arguments that have been put forward against embracing human rights an
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, called upon the Government of Honduras today to “ensure the safety and protection of Gustavo Castro Soto”, a Mexican human rights defender, and to facilitate his return to Mexico as soon as possible. Cast
Mar 09, 2016 by CHRD
Follow this action alert to tell FMO, Finnfund, CABEI, Voith and Siemens to immediately pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam and to not get involved in any other projects on the land of the indigenous Lenca people. intlrv.rs/StopAguaZarca.
Mar 05, 2016 by CHRD
The Coalition for Human Rights in Development expresses our deep sadness and outrage at the assassination this week of indigenous leader and environmental activist Berta Cáceres. Berta was the coordinator and co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras, COPINH. She fought to d
The World Bank consultation on proposed new social and environmental new safeguards will end one month from today. The Bretton Woods Observer reports how civil society organizations around the world have been calling on the Bank to adopt a strong framework for the protection of human rights.
Feb 02, 2016 by CHRD
Yesterday, the U.S. Congress passed the Electrify Africa Act, promoting investment in access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. The Electrify Africa Act in part formalizes Power Africa – a U.S.- led initiative to work with African governments, the World Bank, African Development Ba
Jan 29, 2016 by members
Amnesty International argues that the recently launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), led by China, should draw on the experience of other development banks and implement strong human rights standards. The group raises concerns that the Bank’s development of an Envir
Jan 28, 2016 by members
January 28, 2016 – African civil society organizations called on African governments and public and private financiers today to find socially and environmentally sustainable solutions to Africa’s energy needs. The statement, signed by groups from 10 countries, was issued to coi
Dec 17, 2015 by members
December 17, 2015 – Nigerian civil society organizations met in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria as the World Bank consults with the Nigerian government regarding a large-scale revision of the Bank’s social and environmental safeguard policies. The groups called on the Bank to adopt strong req
Oct 13, 2015 by CHRD
The World Bank doesn’t require that its projects respect human rights, and has thus far refused to adopt such a requirement. Máxima Acuña de Chaupe and Elmer Campos travelled far from their families in rural Peru to attend the Annual Meeting of the World Bank, taking place in the capital city of Lima.
In a report to the UN General Assembly, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, characterizes the World Bank as a “human rights-free zone” and criticizes the institution’s current approach to human rights as “incohere
In 1999 residents of Hade, Kosovo were forced from their homes by Serbian commandos.They were able to return some time later and have been working tirelessly since then to rebuild their village and return to normal life. Now, they are being threatened to leave again, but this time the threat is comin
UN Special Rapporteur finds that human rights are being entirely left out of the debate around extreme poverty and extreme inequality, even though the human rights framework is imperative in resolving these issues. The report criticizes the World Bank, IMF and UN for failing to follow up on any rec
A report by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association discusses the importance of freedom of speech within natural resource extraction projects. Concludes the following: rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and association are essential to fair work on extraction of na
Apr 14, 2015 by CHRD
International Coalition Warns: World Bank Driving Hazardous Development WHAT: Demonstration – Civil society groups encircle the World Bank in “Caution” tape, demanding strong human rights safeguards WHEN: Friday April 17, 10:00 – 11:30am
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank January 30, 2015 Dear Mr. President, We are the Requesters, Anuak refugees and asylum seekers based in Kenya (Dadaab, Kakuma and Nairobi) and South Sudan (Gorom), who submitted a complaint to the World Bank Inspection Panel in September 2012. We have written
28 UN Experts sent a letter to World Bank President Jim Kim, to express their concerns regarding the Bank’s proposed new social and environmental safeguards. The letter criticizes the Bank for avoiding meaningful incorporation of human rights protections. Read the letter here.
From Scientific America, published on Monday, 1 December 2014. For all the flack the U.N. climate talks have taken over the past 20 years, one major achievement will be on display as the next round of negotiations open in Peru today. Climate change has been inextricably linked to social justice. The
In a recent speech at the World Bank, entitled “Rethinking the World Bank’s Approach to Human Rights,” Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, described how the World Bank “stands almost alone…in insisting that human rights are mere m
Oct 16, 2014 by CHRD
From October 10–12, 2014 the World Bank and International Monetary Fund held their joint Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C. Scores of activists, community leaders and civil society organisations from across the world participated in meetings, panels and actions to affirm the importance of st
From the Guardian, published on Monday 29 September 2014 09.36 EDT. World Bank accuses itself of failing to protect Kenya forest dwellers Leaked document says World Bank violated its own safeguards in dealings with Sengwer people evicted from their lands A leaked copy of a World Bank investigatio