News | 19-12-2014
Global Governance Extraterritorial Obligations Monitoring and Accountability Trade

World Bank to recognize central importance of human rights in its environmental and social policies

FIAN International welcomes the recent statement by 28 UN human rights experts on the retrogressive measures promoted inside the World Bank in the context of its safeguards review.

Photo © Tom Henning Bratlie. Marlin Mine in San Marcos, Guatemala. January 2011.

Special rapporteurs and independent human rights experts submitted a joint letter last week to the World Bank stressing that member States to this organization remain responsible for their own conduct in relation to their human rights obligations (including their extraterritorial obligations) and must take all reasonable steps to ensure the World Bank acts consistently with these obligations.

Member States' responsibility when participating in or transferring competences to international organizations, such as the World Bank, has repeatedly been clarified by UN human rights pronouncements and is aptly summarized in the Maastricht Extraterritorial Obligations (ETO) Principle 15. Moreover, the World Bank, as a UN specialized agency, is bound by the UN Charter and must not undermine its objectives, which include the promotion of human rights.

With almost 30 years of experience in monitoring the human rights performance of the World Bank, FIAN suggests that internal operative standards and complaint procedures are insufficient and that external accountability and remedy mechanisms are necessary in order to advance the consistency of the World Bank with the human rights obligations of its member States.

Read the joint statement to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)...

Visit the OHCHR website...

OHCHR Statement to World Bank288 K