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9 Jun 2016

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin - Issue 20, June 2016

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Welcome to our Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin -- highlighting a specific topic each quarter, as well as key developments in corporate legal accountability.  The Corporate Legal Accountability hub on our website provides objective, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged...

Quarterly Highlight: Holding financial institutions to account for human rights abuse...Companies seeking to finance projects or expand their operations rely on access to capital from private banks and multilateral funders like the World Bank Group and new emerging market institutions.  In our corporate legal accountability work, most frequently we see lawsuits against businesses directly engaged in harmful activities.  A recent lawsuit focuses on the role of financial institutions in cases of abuse...[They] demonstrate the negative impacts financial institutions can have if they do not take human rights into account in their investment decisions.  Strategic litigation to hold these institutions to account for their investments when their financing enables human rights abuse will help raise awareness among people in the financial community and encourage them to re-examine how they assess risk for new investments.  If funding sources for projects with negative human rights impacts dry up, companies will be required to pay greater attention to their human rights impacts.

This awareness could be particularly useful for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as it begins its work as a key player in financing development projects throughout Asia...