IFC seeks input on how to better protect those who complain about its projects - consultation open until 15 July

In June 2016, the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman, which is the official body for complaints about the World Bank's two private-sector arms, IFC and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), stated, "in some circumstances, complainants may receive threats or experience retaliations as a consequence of having lodged a complaint. In recognition of this reality 'CAO’s Approach to Complainant Protection' paper sets out how CAO approaches these challenges and its applicability to work done by all CAO functions – Dispute Resolution, Compliance and Advisory. CAO requests that you provide your inputs and comments by July 15, 2016. Please send submissions to [email protected]."

Here is the draft document for consultation and comment:

"Consultation Draft - CAO Approach to Complainant Protection 2016"

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Article
29 June 2016

World Bank accountability mechanisms look to improve complainant protection

Author: Bretton Woods Project

In March the Inspection Panel (IPN, the World Bank’s accountability mechanism) released its new Guidelines to reduce retaliation risks and respond to retaliation during the Panel process. In its guidelines the IPN notes that it has “experienced cases in which affected people have felt pressured during the Panel process” and that “people who come to the Inspection Panel are often poor and/or vulnerable and lack voice or influence.” The guidelines focus on risk assessment, mitigation measures, such as suspending contact with complainants, and on the Panel’s response to retaliation...

In April...the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), the accountability mechanism for the International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (the World Bank’s private sector arms) initiated a process of consultation on their approach to complainant protection. As part of its consultation process, the CAO released a draft document for stakeholder feedback. The public consultation period has been extended to 15 July.

The release of both documents takes place within the context of the shrinking of civil society space globally and increased violence against human rights defenders...

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