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14 Aug 2008

Steve Herz, Bank Information Center, in CSRwire

International Finance Corporation Social Standards Fund Human Rights Abuses

In 2003, a number of leading banks launched the "Equator Principles" -- a set of common environmental and social standards for projects they finance…But…Instead of writing their own policies…the Equator banks adopted the policies of the International Finance Corporation, or IFC – the World Bank's private sector lending arm. The problem is, the World Bank is the wrong place to look for leadership on human rights…The IFC and Equator banks need to fill the gaps between their policies and internationally recognized human rights standards… banks need to make sure that their lending criteria are consistent with internationally recognized human rights standards…banks need…carefully assess the human rights impacts of the projects they support. Finally, the banks also need to ensure that their borrowers…are listening to those who believe that their human rights are at risk… banks can face their human rights responsibilities now [or]…find themselves facing those responsibilities in the courts of law and public opinion. [also refers to Chevron in Nigeria]

Part of the following timelines

The International Finance Corporation’s & the Equator Principles' human rights standards: critique (Steve Herz)

Chevron lawsuit (re Nigeria)