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Intl. Finance Corporation’s position statement on reprisals against defenders supported by key civil society coalition

International Financial Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group  released Position Statement on Retaliation Against Civil Society and Project Stakeholders. With the statement, IFC formally adopts a no-tolerance position on reprisals: “IFC does not tolerate any action by an IFC client that amounts to retaliation – including threats, intimidation, harassment, or violence – against those who voice their opinion regarding the activities of IFC or our clients.”. Defenders in development campaign, a group of human rights groups and accountability organizations, welcomed the statement.

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Article
13 November 2018

Intl. Finance Corporation’s position statement on reprisals against defenders supported by Defenders in development coalition

Author: Coalition for Human Rights in Development (USA)

"Release: Defenders in Development Campaign Welcomes IFC Position Statement on Reprisals", 12 Nov 2018

Human rights groups and accountability organizations welcomed the International Finance Corporation’s recently released Position Statement on Retaliation Against Civil Society and Project Stakeholders... With the statement, IFC formally adopts a no-tolerance position on reprisals – “IFC does not tolerate any action by an IFC client that amounts to retaliation – including threats, intimidation, harassment, or violence – against those who voice their opinion regarding the activities of IFC or our clients.”... Civil society members of the Defenders in Development Campaign applauded IFC’s taking a formal and public position against reprisals. In IFC’s member countries and around the world, [advocates] increasingly face threats, harassment, physical attacks, criminalization, arbitrary detention.... IFC’s Position Statement commits to the development of “internal protocols and staff guidance to raise awareness and guide action”...“We urge the IFC to develop a comprehensive and detailed approach to this issue that integrates not just the assessment of reprisal risks, and addressing risks..., but proactive engagement to prevent reprisals, robust...due diligence, reprisal-sensitive stakeholder engagement, and a response protocol so that... the institution [can] respond in a timely and effective manner..., and...prevent future attacks,” said Gretchen Gordon, Coordinator of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development.... 

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Article
9 October 2018

Intl. Finance Corporation releases position statement on intimidation & violence against opponents of its projects

Author: International Finance Corporation (USA)

"IFC Position Statement on Retaliation Against Civil Society and Project Stakeholders", Oct 2018

IFC recognizes the responsibility of the private sector to respect human rights. IFC’s Sustainability Framework integrates human rights considerations, applicable to business, into our environmental and social standards, due diligence and supervision processes.... Respect for human rights includes the ability of stakeholders to engage freely with IFC and its clients. This is essential to promoting positive development outcomes. Civil society organizations (CSOs) and project-impacted stakeholders must be able to provide feedback, voice opposition, and raise concerns with our clients and with IFC when necessary to ensure that environmental and social impacts in IFC-financed projects are avoided, minimized or mitigated and that the project achieves its intended development impact. We value the input and views of all stakeholders. IFC does not tolerate any action by an IFC client that amounts to retaliation – including threats, intimidation, harassment, or violence – against those who voice their opinion regarding the activities of IFC or our clients. We take seriously any credible allegations of reprisals... When complaints of this nature are raised with IFC, we work – within the scope of our mandate – with our clients or other appropriate parties to try to address them. In such instances, we raise our concerns directly with the client or relevant party, make our position against reprisals clear, and take follow up action as and where appropriate... 

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