Bank directors bound by rights obligations

31 January 2007

versión en español

A report by a coalition of German NGOs raises critical questions in relation to Germany’s extra-territorial human rights obligations when making decisions on the boards of multilateral development banks. As a state party to the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, Germany (and by implication other states) is bound to implement its human rights obligations “through international assistance and cooperation”. Citing the Bank-funded Nam Theun 2 dam in Lao PDR, the Chixoy dam in Guatemala and Ahafo gold mine in Ghana, the report asserts that all actors involved are responsible if a development project leads to human rights violations, and so should participate in adequate reparation to the victims. Yet project affected peoples, who are not recognised by MDBs as rights holders, have serious difficulties in accessing adequate reparations. The report also considers wider issues relating to complaint and grievance mechanisms, legal recourse, effective remedies and monitoring mechanisms that have scarcely been addressed in relation to IFIs.