Indigenous peoples call on World Bank to respect their rights

3 July 2012

A June letter to the incoming World Bank president Jim Yong Kim from 141 indigenous groups and supporting civil society organisations called on the Bank for “positive engagement” to “put indigenous peoples at the centre of its development interventions following the framework of respecting the[ir] rights … and ensuring their full and effective participation” to avoid that “the existing mistrust that indigenous peoples feel towards the Bank will persist and worsen”. It also expressed “frustrations” over “the continuing delay” of the Bank’s safeguards review (see Update 79). The letter followed a May statement by the US-based NGO Indian Law Resource Center to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which argued that “we cannot ignore the human rights impacts of the Bank’s practices” and called on the UN to ensure that the Bank implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.