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Tell the to Respect our

World Bank Homes & Lands!

Whats the problem?

Each year, the World Bank funds destructive projectslike big dams, mines, oil pipelines, and agribusiness plantationsthat force thousands of people to move from their homes and lands. The families who are displaced by these projects usually do not receive adequate support to rebuild their lives. As a result, they are often left homeless, facing severe poverty and threats to their human rights. The World Bank continues to fund projects that displace thousands of peoplefailing to consider alternative project designs that would prevent people from being unjustly evicted and impoverished. In addition to directly funding projects, the World Bank also creates standards and policies that influence development and displacement around the worldincluding the national laws in many of our countries, and the rules that private companies have to follow. Citizens in these countries are usually excluded from these processes, and the rules shaped by the World Bank often fail to reflect local peoples priorities to protect their homes, lands and human rights.

Whats the opportunity?

In October 2012, the World Bank formally launched a two-year review of its Safeguard Policiesthe policies that require social and environmental protections for World Bank-financed projects.i One of these policies is the World Banks Safeguard Policy on Involuntary Resettlement, which was last revised in 2000. The policy contains requirements for how affected people must be consulted and compensated if a project will cause displacement.ii Over the past 12 years since the current Involuntary Resettlement policy was adopted,iii the World Bank has failed to protect project-affected people from injustice and impoverishment caused by its projects. Its time to push the World Bank to improve its policy and practiceand to respect human rights.

Help build a campaign to stop forced evictions by the World Bank


Why should we care about the World Bank?

The World Bank sets global rules on displacement and forced eviction. Many people know that the World Bank funds projects like mines and dams. These projects have caused displacement of hundreds of communities, and many communities have raised serious human rights concerns in advocacy, including in complaints to the World Banks Inspection Panel. But did you know that, in addition to funding projects, the World Bank also helps write laws in many countries, including laws related to displacement, housing and land rights? One way that the World Bank does this is through its Technical Assistance loans, in which World Bank staff and consultants revise or create national laws for a country. For example, currently, the World Bank projects database shows that it has 19 active projects directly related to creating and revising national laws and systems for land management and housing in: Albania, Bosnia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Philippines, Vietnam, Croatia, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Ukraine.iv The World Bank also influences laws around the world indirectly, through the Banks influence as a standard-setter, and by being seen as a source of expertise and best practice. Governments in Asia, Africa and Latin America often refer to World Bank policies to inform national laws on displacement. And its not just governmentsprivate companies also follow the standards set by the World Bank.v What does this mean? It means that millions of people around the world are affected by the World Bank Safeguard Policiesboth through Bank-financed projects and through the laws and practices that the World Bank influences. If you care about building stronger rules to protect housing and land rights, now is the time to make your voice heard at the World Bank!

Help lead the campaign

Many communities, groups and networks around the world are working to defend peoples homes, lands and human rights from destructive development projects. With the upcoming World Bank Safeguard Policy review, we have an opportunity to unite our efforts and build a powerful campaign to push the World Bank to change its approachand thus to change the rules beyond the World Bank as well. To build a strategic, powerful campaign, we will need many diverse perspectives and voices, and most importantly, the campaign will need leadership and expertise from people who have on-the- ground experience with development-forced eviction. Will you join this campaign? Please contact Saiaew Tipakson at, to share your ideas on: How to structure this campaign to involve many housing and land rights activists and networks from around the world; Priority issues/demands for changes to make in World Bank policy and practice; Campaign activities that will support important human rights advocacy goalsbeyond just reforming the World Bank; And more. Saiaew will follow up with you to set up a time to speak by phone or Skype. Please help us share this message widely to your friends and networks!

Illustration from the Cambodian Guide to Defending Housing & Land Rights. 2009. Bridges Across Borders Cambodia; Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions; International Accountability Project.

Since 2003, International Accountability Project (IAP) has worked with partners around the world to push the World Bank and other development financiers to improve their policies and practice, toward respecting peoples housing and land rights. For more information on IAPs policy work, click here.

World Bank website: Reviewing and Updating the Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies (Sept. 2012),,contentMDK:22849125~pagePK :64168445~piPK:64168309~theSitePK:584435,00.html ii The World Bank first adopted a policy on involuntary resettlement in 1980 in order to provide substantive and procedural policy protections for people who are displaced from their homes and livelihoods by World Bank-financed projects. In doing so, the Bank assumed a leadership role in addressing the cycle of impoverishment that often threatens people who are forced to abandon their homes or livelihoods as a result of development-induced displacement. ( iii In December 2001, the World Bank officially adopted its revised Operational Policy on involuntary resettlement (OP 4.12). The policy is part of an integrated suite of 10 social and environmental safeguard policies. ( RG/Source%20%20documents%5CTool%20Kits%20&%20Guides%5CDesigning%20Projects/TLPRO10%20invol%20resett lementsourcebookWB.pdf iv v Hongsa mining project in Laos states it will follow the WB standard. power-plant-officially-begins/