Mar 09, 2017

UN Human Rights Chief Denounces Human Rights Abuses Associated with Large Infrastructure Projects


In an op-ed published by the Miami Herald, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein calls attention to threats faced by human rights defenders who seek to ensure that infrastructure projects are conducted in a manner consistent with human rights obligations, and proposes concrete measures “to break down the walls between investment, infrastructure financing, and human rights.” The op-ed commemorates the one year anniversary of the death of Honduran human and environmental rights defender Berta Cáceres, whose murder was tied to her campaign to stop the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam being built on indigenous Lenca territory. The High Commissioner calls for prior consultation with affected communities around infrastructure projects, strong human rights policies for development finance institutions, human rights due diligence, greater transparency and data collection, and independent, fair, and accessible grievance mechanisms. Read the full op-ed here in English and here in Spanish.