Safeguards review neglects people with disability, children

23 January 2014

Civil society organisations have highlighted that the critical needs of people with disabilities (PWD) and children are not being addressed by the World Bank’s safeguards review (see Observer Winter 2014, Autumn 2013) despite disability being singled out as one of the review’s overarching themes. During a November visit by Bank officials to the communities displaced by the Bujagali dam in Uganda (see Update 86, 69, 62), Ngirabakunzi Edson, director of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda, said the situation was “inadequate for PWD” but that the Bank had the “capacity” to change this through the review.

The safeguards review has also came under recent attack for not listening to the voices of children. A group of young people and child experts convened by US NGO Bank Information Center (BIC) in early November reminded the Bank that its projects need to more effectively take into account children’s protection and development.

The safeguards review team was due to present the first draft of its proposed integrated framework to the Bank board for review and to announce a second round of consultation dates in early 2014. However, the process has been delayed to allow for implementation of an internal restructure to go ahead first (see Observer Winter 2014), and is now not expected until June.