The World Bank’s Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) has found that World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) failed to abide by its own ethical standards, including failing to ensure that human rights obligations are met, by continuing to finance Corporación Dinant, and Honduran corporation involved in palm oil plantations. The CAO’s investigation was commenced after receiving information in 2011 from Rights Action, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and other advocacy groups regarding violations by Corporación Dinant, including:
• that IFC’s client (Dinant) conducted, facilitated or supported forced evictions of farmers in the Aguan Valley;
• that violence against farmers on and around Dinant plantations in the Aguan Valley occurred because of inappropriate use of private and public security forces under Dinant’s control or influence; and
• that IFC failed to identify early enough and/or respond appropriately to the situation of Dinant in the context of the declining political and security situation in Honduras, and specifically in the Aguan Valley, following the ouster of President Zelaya in June 2009.
In 2012, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Rights Action filed an amicus curiae brief arguing that the IFC has human rights obligations under international law and that the respective human rights obligations of Member States of the World Bank also must be respected.
The CAO relied heavily on a human rights analysis in finding that the IFC failed to adequately supervise the funded project and failed to ensure that Dinant abided by environmental and social standards, including international human rights standards. According to the CAO, the “IFC’s Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability (Sustainability Policy) expresses the Corporation’s mission in terms of promoting sustainable private sector development” and the Sustainability Policy requires the IFC to “avoid infringing on the human rights of others and to address adverse human rights impacts business may cause or contribute to” and that “in this context the Sustainability Policy (2012) provides that the IFC will be guided by the International Bill of Human Rights and the eight core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).”
Read more from Rights Action HERE