Since 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) uses international law and institutions to protect the environment, promote human health, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL is a member of the Bank on Human Rights Coalition, a newly formed global coalition of social movements, civil society organizations, and grassroots groups working to ensure that all development finance institutions respect, protect, and fulfill human rights.
The U.S. government provides more than a billion dollars to the World Bank every year to invest in projects in the name of “development.” Yet the World Bank has no internal safeguard policies that guarantee respect for human rights. The result: Some World Bank–financed projects leave the very people the bank aims to support even worse off.
For example, in Honduras, the World Bank Group financed the Dinant oil palm project that has ignited violence in the Aguan Valley. The company has been implicated in extensive human rights abuses, including the killing, kidnapping, and forced eviction of farmers. Over the past four years, 102 members of local peasant associations have been murdered, 40 of these deaths associated with bank-financed Dinant property or its security guards.
The United States is the World Bank’s largest shareholder and currently is developing its position on the bank’s safeguard policies, which are under review. It’s time for the U.S. to champion safeguard policies that respect human rights so that economic development improves people’s lives.
Make your voice heard. Sign the petition calling on the U.S. government to ensure that the World Bank’s new safeguard policies uphold human rights.
To: U.S. Department of Treasury
As a member of the public, I am writing to urge the United States government to ensure that the World Bank safeguard policies respect and uphold human rights.
Sustainable development cannot happen without respect for human rights. I urge you to ensure that the new policies require the World Bank to undertake human rights due diligence, including:
[Your name here]