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15 Nov 2015

Special Rapporteurs & Independent Experts of the UN Human Rights Council

UN human rights experts letter & comments to AIIB on draft environmental & social framework

"Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council: Comments on the Draft Environmental and Social Framework of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank", 26 Oct 2015

On 26 October 2015 eleven Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts of the UN Human Rights Council submitted observations on the draft environmental and social framework of the future Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

In their joint letter the UN human rights experts welcomed the steps taken by the AIIB to establish mandatory environmental and social standards, but recommended that human rights should be more rigorously integrated within the proposed safeguard policies.  The experts said that human rights norms apply as well to AIIB’s own business conduct, noting that all prospective founding members of the bank have ratified several binding international human rights treaties.

The experts stressed that the AIIB should aspire to become a bank of the XXI century governed by environmental, social and human rights policies reflecting current international standards.

The initiative was coordinated by the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, who had met the President designate of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Mr. Jin Liqun, earlier this year in Beijing. The submission forms part of  efforts by UN human rights experts to strengthen safeguard policies across multi-lateral and national development banks.

There are wide-spread concerns about the harm caused by large infrastructure projects funded by multi-lateral development banks. Such projects have frequently resulted in forced evictions, lack of effective remedies and compensation for affected individuals, or the destruction of the livelihood of indigenous communities.

Read the letter to the President-designate of the AIIB and the detailed comments  by the experts on the draft environmental and social framework.