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Human Rights Dimensions Of The Inspection Panel: PowerPoint Presentation
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Human Rights Dimensions Of The Inspection Panel:

Human Rights Dimensions Of The Inspection Panel:

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Human Rights Dimensions Of The Inspection Panel:

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Human Rights Dimensions Of The Inspection Panel: Do we need to be more explicit? Werner Kiene Chairman of the Inspection Panel April 23, 2009

  2. The Panel and Human Rights • Creating an Inspection Panel • “Resolution” governing the Panel • Experience in Inspections • Can we do better? Should we do more

  3. Creating an Inspection Panel • Critique on the “business” of the Bank and other international bodies • Rio • Transparency and the right to know • The right to co-determine • New international law doctrine: Citizens and Communities have recourse not only member states

  4. The “Resolution”: the way the Panel works The Panel is an independent body that responds to complaints (Requests for Inspection) by people who believe that they are suffering, or may suffer, harm caused by a World Bank-financed project.

  5. Key HumanRights Aspects enshrined in the Panel Process • Participation, Accountability, Recourse • Protecting the Right to Seek Recourse • Human rights and application of Bank Policies

  6. Participation, Accountability, Recourse • Requests for Inspection come directly from affected people • Enables people to seek recourse for decisions that affect them, pierce the “shroud” of large institutions • Based on recognition that actions of large institutions like the World Bank can have negative (even if unintended) as well as positive impacts on people • People have expertise, know their needs • Panel reflects new emphasis on accountability from “below”

  7. Panel’s greatest attribute - - connection to affected people, and giving people voice at highest decision-making level of Bank • Supports basic principle and right that people should have a say in actions that affect them, and be able freely to register complaint and seek redress for harm Giving People a Voice

  8. Meeting affected people - Cambodia

  9. Protecting the Right to Seek Recourse • Submitting a Request can put people at risk of reprisal • If seen as threat to important project, or to person in power . . . • Have been examples where people pressured against submitting a complaint, jailed after filing, in one case tortured

  10. Protections • Provisions to protect confidentiality • Can file through a “representative” • Request by an Executive Director of the World Bank

  11. Protections – Cont’d • Panel reports instances of reprisal to highest authorities • Several examples in Panel Reports, Board Statements (Chad-Cameroon, others) • Avoid “chilling” effect on right to recourse; protection of basic human rights

  12. Panel Statement to Board, Mumbai Urban Transport Project, June 2006 • “The Panel wishes to emphasize that it respects the sovereignty of a country to deal with its citizens. However, the Panel also notes that imprisonment of the chief spokesperson of the Requesters, without bail, sends a chilling message to peoples everywhere who would complain to the Panel about Bank projects. It affects the Bank’s credibility and ability to work effectively in response to the Panel’s findings and in pursuit of its own actionn plan.”

  13. Human rights and Bank policies • Panel analyzes Bank compliance with safeguard and other policies - - not apply other legal norms • BUT - - safeguard policies contain requirements that promote and support basic human rights, and Panel findings contribute to their further development and application • Panel work addresses both substantive (e.g., right to water) and procedural rights (right to information) • Some policies mention human rights (e.g. Indigenous Peoples)

  14. Panel Statement to Board: Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline,September 2002 ““Given the world-wide attention to the human rights situation in Chad . . .and the fact that this was an issue raised in the Request for Inspection by a Requester who alleged that there were human rights violations in the country, and that he was tortured because of his opposition to the conduct of the project, the Panel was obliged to examine the situation of human rights and governance in the light of Bank policies. We are convinced that the approach taken in our report, which finds human rights implicitly embedded in various policies of the Bank,is within the boundaries of the Panel’s approach to this sensitive subject and has pledged to continue to monitor the developments in this area within the context of the applicable Bank policies.”

  15. Statement of a Previous General Counsels of the Bank • “Human rights are at the very core of the World Bank’s mandate.” • “The Articles of Agreement permit, and in some cases require, the Bank to recognize the human rights dimensions of its development policies and activities, since it is now evident that human rights are an intrinsic part of the Bank’s mission.” • “The Bank’s role is to support its Members to fulfill [their actionable human rights obligations] where they relate to Bank projects and policies”

  16. Recent Examples – Panel Cases and Basic Human Rights • Rights of indigenous peoples, land tenure (e.g., DRC Congo, Honduras, Cambodia) • Livelihood restoration, restitution in cases of forced displacement (e.g., Mumbai, West Africa Gas Pipeline) • Rights of participation and meaningful consultation (e.g., DRC Congo, Pakistan, Cambodia). • Rights to security of person, access to water and livelihoods (e.g., Pakistan). UN Human Rights body referred to Panel findings as addressing fundamental right of people to access to water

  17. Demolition February 2006 .

  18. Demolition February 2006 .

  19. Bank Policies and International Agreements • Recent investigation in Honduras examined relationship between Bank policies and international agreement(s) on human rights: • Requesters (Garifuna indigenous peoples) complained that Bank project was contributing to violation of human rights protected by ILO Convention 169 on indigenous peoples • Panel found that Bank policy requires that Bank not finance actions that would lead a country to contravene its obligations under this international agreement • Panel noted concern about a Legal Opinion limiting application of the policy to “environmental” agreements and not others such as ILO 169 • Other speakers today will remark on this new finding by the Panel

  20. Can we do more?Should we do more? • A. ? • B. ? • C.? • . • . • .