hide message

Welcome to the Resource Centre

We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

Both companies and impacted communities thank us for the resources and support we provide.

This is only possible because of your support. Please make a donation today.

Thank you,
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

Donate now hide message

OHCHR's comments on World Bank’s draft environmental & social framework

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Article
18 March 2016

Annex I: FAQs concerning human rights & multilateral development banks

Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Annex I: Frequently Asked Questions on Human Rights and Multilateral Development Banks," 15 Mar 2016

This document addresses questions that sometimes arise in response to proposals to integrate human rights considerations within the social and environmental safeguard policies of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). As will be seen, none of these concerns prevent MDBs from integrating human rights risk information as needed throughout the project cycle.

  1. Are human rights relevant to economic development?...
  2. Are human rights “political” in nature and beyond MDBs’ mandates?...
  3. Would integrating human rights within MDBs’ safeguard policies infringe the sovereignty of borrowers?...
  4. Are human rights a form of political conditionality?...
  5. Would integrating human rights within MDBs’ safeguard policies turn the lender into a human rights tribunal or “enforcer”?...
  6. Why must human rights be mentioned explicitly?...
  7. Are human rights treaties too numerous or complex to be useful for project due diligence?...
  8. Would integrating human rights in MDBs’ due diligence increase their potential legal liability?...
  9. Would MDBs’ complaint mechanisms generate potentially conflicting bodies of human rights jurisprudence?...
  10. Would the costs of integrating human rights in MDBs’ due diligence exceed the likely benefits?...

Download the full document here

Article
18 March 2016

Annex II: Integration of human rights risk information in World Bank's due diligence will minimise impact of investment projects

Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Annex II: The Benefits of Integrating Human Rights Risk Information into the World Bank’s Due Diligence," 15 Mar 2016

Human rights risks arise frequently in relation to investment projects supported by multilateral development banks (MDBs)…Human rights risks have often been serious and irremediable, undermining investment project objectives, blowing out remediation and administrative costs…and causing reputational harm to both the Borrower and the lender…This Annex seeks to illustrate in practical terms how human rights risk information could be integrated more explicitly and systematically within the investment project cycle…While this discussion focuses mainly on the Bank’s due diligence responsibilities, it is also relevant to the duties of Borrowers to take human rights risk information into account as part of their social and environmental assessment and risk management responsibilities…Case studies of MDB-supported investment projects carried out by OHCHR illustrate the seriousness and potentially irremediable nature of human rights risks that may arise…[T]imely and systematic integration of human rights risk information within the Bank’s due diligence responsibilities may help to minimise adverse impacts and contribute to the success and sustainability of investment projects…

Download the full document here

Article
18 March 2016

Annex III: Intl. commitments to human rights & sustainable development

Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Annex III: Recent International Commitments Relating to Human Rights and Sustainable Development," 15 Mar 2016

A. Excerpts from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

10. The new Agenda is guided by the purposes, and principles of the Charter of the United Nations…It is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties…

18. …[W]e reaffirm our commitment to international law…[T]he Agenda is to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the rights and obligations of states under international law.

19. We reaffirm the importance of...international instruments relating to human rights…We emphasize the responsibilities of all States…to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all...

B. Excerpts from the Addis Ababa Action Agenda…

75. …We welcome efforts by new development banks to develop safeguard systems in open consultation with stakeholders on the basis of established international standards, and encourage all development banks to establish…social and environmental safeguards systems, including on human rights [and] gender equality…that are transparent, effective, efficient and time-sensitive…

Download the full document here

Article
18 March 2016

Annex IV: List of countries that have ratified core UN human rights instruments & ILO labour conventions

Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Annex IV: Ratification of Human Rights and Labour Instruments by World Bank/IBRD Members," 15 Mar 2016

Download the full document here

Article
18 March 2016

Recommendations by OHCHR on World Bank's proposed environmental & social framework

Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Review and Update of the World Bank’s Safeguards Policies: Comments and recommendations of UN/OHCHR in relation to the draft Environmental and Social Framework," 15 Mar 2016

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) welcomes the opportunity to comment upon the World Bank’s proposed Environmental and Social Framework (ESF)…The Bank’s revised safeguards will…strongly influence social and environmental safeguards and sustainability policies…OHCHR’s comments focus on the content of the draft ESF from the perspective of international human rights law and their foreseeable impacts upon individuals and groups in practice, particularly those most marginalized…[I]n OHCHR’s view there appear to be several weaknesses or ambiguities in the draft ESF, particularly in relation to the risk management framework…and the Bank’s due diligence and supervision obligations set out in the ESP. The main areas of concern…are:

  1. Insufficient recognition of the obligations of Borrowers under international human rights…
  2. …clarify and strengthen the Bank’s due diligence responsibilities…
  3. …strengthen the frameworks for delegating safeguard responsibility to other safeguard systems…
  4. …avoid deferring the appraisal of assessable risks as far as possible…
  5. …strengthen monitoring and reporting requirements…

Download the full document here