You are here: Home / 2 / 1 / News

News

Two new reports confirm the need for lenders to xexit responsibly from the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project in Honduras

Sep 30, 2016

Last week, the report of an independent fact-finding mission (IM) commissioned by the Dutch development bank, FMO, showed that the lenders failed to ensure that the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project in Honduras complied with international standards. The report also stated that the project provoked and deepened violence amongst communities who would be affected by the project. In response to this report, the FMO committed to exit the project in a responsible way after they consult with all stakeholders. SOMO and Both ENDS welcomes FMO’s exit from the project and cautions FMO not to pass along this flawed project to another lender.

Two new reports confirm the need for lenders to xexit responsibly from the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric Project in Honduras - Read More…

Ombudsman finds the IFC failed to comply with its investment standards in Colombia

Sep 05, 2016

The office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) has issued its final report on the complaint brought against the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) investment in Eco Oro Minerals’ Angostura mine in the high-altitude wetlands – known as páramos – of Santurbán, Colombia. The office warned that the corporation has not met all the standards required of its investments, including an assessment of potential impacts on biodiversity.

Ombudsman finds the IFC failed to comply with its investment standards in Colombia - Read More…

Short Course on Business and Human Rights, 4 - 8 July 2016

Short Course on Business and Human Rights, 4 - 8 July 2016

Jul 27, 2016

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosted its first short course on business and human rights at the University of Pretoria from 4 - 8 July 2016. The course brought together 50 people from across Africa, mainly representing civil society, national human rights institutions, and academia. Ame Trandem, Network Coordinator at SOMO and expert on the OECD Guidelines and Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms was one of the lecturers.

Short Course on Business and Human Rights, 4 - 8 July 2016 - Read More…

Illegal closing Barro Blanco dam puts native lands under water

Illegal closing Barro Blanco dam puts native lands under water

Jun 08, 2016

Against all agreements, the Panamanian government and the company Genisa closed the locks of the Barro Blanco dam in the Tabasará River. This while they had agreed earlier that the dam reservoir would not be filled until a new agreement between all stakeholders would have been reached.

Illegal closing Barro Blanco dam puts native lands under water - Read More…

New report finds a third of Lagos evictees left homeless a year after World Bank’s Inspection Panel pilot declared success

New report finds a third of Lagos evictees left homeless a year after World Bank’s Inspection Panel pilot declared success

Jun 03, 2016

In a report released today, Inclusive Development International (IDI) and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) called upon the World Bank to reassess a new approach to handling complaints that its accountability mechanism began trialing in 2014.

New report finds a third of Lagos evictees left homeless a year after World Bank’s Inspection Panel pilot declared success - Read More…

Letter to Dutch government concerning the Agua Zarca project

Letter to Dutch government concerning the Agua Zarca project

Mar 14, 2016

Following the murder of human rights defender Berta Caceras, today various NGOs submitted a letter to the Dutch government concerning its responsibility to ensure the divestment of the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) from the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras.

Letter to Dutch government concerning the Agua Zarca project - Read More…

Report finds development banks fail people harmed by their projects

Report finds development banks fail people harmed by their projects

Jan 27, 2016

A new report launched today documents the hurdles communities and workers face in obtaining remedy from development banks whose projects cause them harm. The 11 civil society organizations that authored the report, Glass Half Full? The State of Accountability in Development Finance, call on development banks and the governments that run them to strengthen their systems for providing remedy to those harmed by the activities financed by the banks.

Report finds development banks fail people harmed by their projects - Read More…

New OECD brochure on responsible business in conflict settings

New OECD brochure on responsible business in conflict settings

Nov 23, 2015

On 5 November, the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding officially launched its brochure ‘International Standards for responsible business in conflict-affected and fragile environments’.

New OECD brochure on responsible business in conflict settings - Read More…

Investigation launched into Mongolian iron ore mine financed by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for impacts on local communities

Sep 03, 2015

Last week, the independent accountability mechanism of the EBRD announced it will investigate the EBRD's compliance with its environmental and social standards in the EBRD-financed mine, operated by Altain Khuder in the Gobi-Altai region of Mongolia. The investigation comes in response to a complaint filed to the EBRD’s Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM) in December 2014 from herders affected by the project.

Investigation launched into Mongolian iron ore mine financed by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for impacts on local communities - Read More…

Dismissed Turkish Metal workers file complaint to EBRD

Dismissed Turkish Metal workers file complaint to EBRD

Sep 02, 2015

Today, Birleşik Metal, an independent trade union in the Turkish metal sector, filed a complaint to the grievance mechanism of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), regarding the operations of its client, Türk Traktör. In May 2015, 30,000 workers in the Turkish metal sector, including employees of Türk Traktör, organized mass strikes to demand their right to establish their own unions. Although the management of Türk Traktör repeatedly promised that no one would be dismissed because of these actions, 20 workers were fired. The complaint, filed to the EBRD’s Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM), claims that Türk Traktör’s actions, including these dismissals, are inconsistent with the EBRD’s labour policy that commits to respect and protect workers’ fundamental rights, including freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.

Dismissed Turkish Metal workers file complaint to EBRD - Read More…

Nepali Communities Seek Justice for Violations in World Bank Project

Jul 17, 2015

[Press release by Accountability Counsel] - Last week an independent investigation revealed serious abuses in a World Bank-funded transmission line project in central Nepal. The Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line runs through indigenous and rural communities, who have been raising concerns about the project for over five years. Though the findings validate community concerns, the World Bank has not committed to correcting the damage caused by its failures in this project.

Nepali Communities Seek Justice for Violations in World Bank Project - Read More…

Reflections on the first round of negotiations on a binding instrument on business and human rights

Reflections on the first round of negotiations on a binding instrument on business and human rights

Jul 14, 2015

From 6-10 July, the first session of discussions took place within the United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) towards a treaty on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Civil society organisations (CSOs) from all over the world – including SOMO – contributed with a wealth of proposals and thorough analyses of the urgent need for an international, legally binding instrument to prevent business-related human rights abuses and to provide justice and remedy for affected people. SOMO was joined in Geneva by other members of the newly-formed Treaty Alliance, including Friends of the Earth , the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), organisations supporting the Dismantle Corporate Power campaign and many others.

Reflections on the first round of negotiations on a binding instrument on business and human rights - Read More…

Exciting times at the UN as negotiations on a binding treaty for business and human rights kick off

Exciting times at the UN as negotiations on a binding treaty for business and human rights kick off

Jul 07, 2015

This is an exciting week at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, as negotiations on an international, legally binding treaty on business and human rights begin. Starting on 6 July, the negotiations are the result of a groundbreaking resolution that was adopted by the Human Rights Council in June 2014 and established an intergovernmental working group to set to work on developing the treaty (resolution 26/9). Follow #stopcorporateabuse and @TreatyAlliance to keep up to date with all the latest developments.

Exciting times at the UN as negotiations on a binding treaty for business and human rights kick off - Read More…

Towards a reinforced accountability architecture for the European Investment Bank

Towards a reinforced accountability architecture for the European Investment Bank

Jul 06, 2015

[New Report by Counter Balance] - Counter Balance has been monitoring the operations of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for eight years now. A central pillar of our work has been to improve the accountability of this bank towards European taxpayers and citizens affected by its activities inside and outside the EU.

Towards a reinforced accountability architecture for the European Investment Bank - Read More…

Movimiento 10 de Abril presents letter of concern to Dutch and German embassies in Panama

Movimiento 10 de Abril presents letter of concern to Dutch and German embassies in Panama

Jun 05, 2015

On Thursday the 4th of June representatives of the Movimiento 10 de Abril presented a letter to the Dutch and German ambassadors in Panama. The letter was written by Movimiento 10 de Abril, the Cacica General of the Comarca Ngabe Bugle, the Cacique local of Müna district, the mayor of Müna disctrict, BothENDS, Urgewald and SOMO. It expressed the concerns of these organisations about FMO and DEG’s investment in the Barro Blanco dam in Panama and asked the authority of the respective governments to ensure that the Dutch and German development banks respect the rights of those affected by the projects they finance.

Movimiento 10 de Abril presents letter of concern to Dutch and German embassies in Panama - Read More…

Independent report: Dutch and German development banks failed to comply with environmental and human rights standards in financing the Barro Blanco dam in Panama

Independent report: Dutch and German development banks failed to comply with environmental and human rights standards in financing the Barro Blanco dam in Panama

Jun 02, 2015

[Press release] Last Friday, a long-awaited report by an independent panel, found that FMO and DEG, the Dutch and German development banks, violated their own policies by failing to adequately assess the risks to indigenous rights and the environment before approving a US$50 million loan to GENISA, the developer of the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project in Panama. FMO and DEG’s response to the findings, while acknowledging some deficiencies in their assessment, does not commit to any measures to address the outstanding policy violations. Even while the report concludes that “the lenders have not taken the resistance of the affected communities seriously enough,” it appears that FMO and DEG continue to do so.

Independent report: Dutch and German development banks failed to comply with environmental and human rights standards in financing the Barro Blanco dam in Panama - Read More…

Indian communities suffering from destructive coal plant sue the IFC in U.S. courts

Apr 25, 2015

[Joint Statement: CIEL, Accountability Counsel, SOMO] - Today, Indian fishing communities and farmers represented by EarthRights International (ERI) are suing the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group, in United States federal court in Washington, D.C. The plaintiffs allege that the IFC, which provided a critical loan for the Tata Mundra coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, India, caused negative impacts on health, property and livelihoods. This lawsuit marks the first time a community harmed by a World Bank Group project has filed a lawsuit in United States court.

Indian communities suffering from destructive coal plant sue the IFC in U.S. courts - Read More…

Communities sue World Bank Group in US Federal Court for Destructive coal-fired power plant

Apr 24, 2015

[Press Release: EarthRights International] - Today fishing communities and farmers from India represented by EarthRights International (ERI) filed suit against the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-lending arm of the World Bank Group, in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plaintiffs allege that the IFC caused the loss of their livelihoods, destroyed their lands and water, and created threats to their health by funding the Tata Mundra coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, India.

Communities sue World Bank Group in US Federal Court for Destructive coal-fired power plant - Read More…

U.S. Agency Plan Promises Improvements but Lacks Critical Details on Reform

Apr 01, 2015

Last week, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) published a plan to address widespread failures at the agency that contributed to a botched energy project in Liberia, which resulted in serious human rights, labor, and environmental abuses. The brief plan outlines a number of important institutional and operational reforms, which could help protect vulnerable communities in the future from the harm that Liberian communities suffered. However, communities are still waiting for OPIC to reveal critical details about how these reforms will translate into meaningful change on the ground.

U.S. Agency Plan Promises Improvements but Lacks Critical Details on Reform - Read More…

A survey to share your experiences with filing complaints

Apr 01, 2015

Currently, we are doing research on the effectiveness of the independent accountability mechanisms associated with development financial institutions. Because we want this assessment to be as representative as possible, we are collecting the experiences of all CSOs who have supported and/or filed complaints with these mechanisms. It would be great if you could share your experiences and expertise in our survey. Please note that the survey will close 30 April 2015.

A survey to share your experiences with filing complaints - Read More…

Newsletter on Non-Judical Grievance Mechanisms - February 2015

Newsletter on Non-Judical Grievance Mechanisms - February 2015

Feb 27, 2015

The February 2015 newsletter highlights recent developments on grievance mechanisms and complaints and introduces the latest additions to the Human Rights and Grievance Mechanisms website.

Newsletter on Non-Judical Grievance Mechanisms - February 2015 - Read More…

EBRD’s PCM Eligibility Determination in Amulsar Complaints is Flawed

Feb 27, 2015

The PCM received two complaints last year regarding EBRD’s investment in Lydian International, which is currently undertaking exploration activities for a gold mine in Armenia. The complaints raise concerns about the potential environmental and social impacts of the eventual mine. The PCM concluded that the complaints do not relate to a project that the EBRD is currently funding because, according to the EBRD’s definition of the scope of the project, the EBRD is only funding the exploration phase. In a letter to the EBRD Board and President, SOMO and CEE Bankwatch argue that determining the proper scope of the project is an argument on the merits of the allegations, which the PCM is prohibited from doing by its Rules of Procedures.

EBRD’s PCM Eligibility Determination in Amulsar Complaints is Flawed - Read More…

World Bank Refuses to Consider Haitian Communities’ Complaint about New Mining Law

World Bank Refuses to Consider Haitian Communities’ Complaint about New Mining Law

Feb 23, 2015

[By Accountability Council & Global Justice Clinic] Last week, the World Bank Inspection Panel refused to consider a complaint from Haitian communities about the Bank’s support for development of the mining sector in Haiti. Communities affected by mining activity and the Justice in Mining Collective, a group of six Haitian civil society organizations, submitted the complaint in early January, alleging violations of their rights to information and participation and threats of human rights abuses and environmental harms. The Inspection Panel—an office established to address complaints from people affected by World Bank-sponsored projects—recognized that the complaint raised “serious and legitimate” concerns and that the mining industry presents significant risks. The office nevertheless denied the complaint on narrow, technical grounds. The complainants expect to receive a copy of the decision in French today.

World Bank Refuses to Consider Haitian Communities’ Complaint about New Mining Law - Read More…

Panama Suspends Construction of FMO-funded Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam over environmental and human rights abuses

Panama Suspends Construction of FMO-funded Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam over environmental and human rights abuses

Feb 11, 2015

Following years of community protest, the Government of Panama temporarily suspended the construction of the Barro Blanco dam. The decision was publicly announced by Panama’s Environmental Agency, ANAM, Monday. The indigenous communities whose land would be flooded by the dam had demanded the suspension for years. Although the decision comes when the dam’s construction is near to completion, the Movimiento 10 de abril (M-10) is satisfied that steps are finally being taken to address their concerns.

Panama Suspends Construction of FMO-funded Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam over environmental and human rights abuses - Read More…

Complaint by Mongolian herders about iron ore mining company accepted by European Development Bank

Complaint by Mongolian herders about iron ore mining company accepted by European Development Bank

Jan 21, 2015

The company Altain Khuder operates the Tayan Nuur mine which allegedly has caused significant environmental pollution and the displacement of herders in the Mongolian Gobi Altai mountains. The independent accountability mechanism of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has invested in the company, accepted the complaint last week.

Complaint by Mongolian herders about iron ore mining company accepted by European Development Bank - Read More…

US bill requires OPIC to implement recommendations of the Office of Accountability on failed Buchanan Renewables project

Dec 23, 2014

Following a complaint by Liberian communities at the independent Office of Accountability of OPIC, US President Obama signed a bill into law that increases federal oversight of OPIC's operations and requires it to implement recommendations for improvement.

US bill requires OPIC to implement recommendations of the Office of Accountability on failed Buchanan Renewables project - Read More…

New Brochure: the Patchwork of Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms

Dec 08, 2014

This brochure describes the current patchwork, functioning and limitations of non-judicial grievance mechanisms, and provides recommendations for improving them.

New Brochure: the Patchwork of Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms - Read More…

Access to effective remedy at international financial institutions?

Access to effective remedy at international financial institutions?

Nov 25, 2014

On the 1st of December, Accountability Council, SOMO and Inclusive Development will organize a side event of the Third Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights to discuss non-judicial grievance mechanisms at international financial institutions (IFIs). There will be a discussion with panellists representing an IFI, a grievance mechanism, and NGOs that have used these tools to support affected communities in their struggles for justice. The panellists will share their diverse perspectives on access to effective remedy at international financial institutions.

Access to effective remedy at international financial institutions? - Read More…

Response to Proposed Amendments to the IRM Operating Rules and Procedures

Nov 14, 2014

The public consultation phase for the second review of the African Development Bank’s Independent Review Mechanism ended on August 30th. The IRM received comments submitted by the Civil Society Coalition on the AfDB on behalf of 67 CSOs; Accountability Counsel, on behalf of 12 CSOs, and the Legal Resources Center.

Response to Proposed Amendments to the IRM Operating Rules and Procedures - Read More…

Newsletter on Non-Judical Grievance Mechanisms - November 2014

Nov 12, 2014

The November 2014 newsletter highlights recent developments on grievance mechanisms and complaints and introduces the latest additions to the Human Rights and Grievance Mechanisms website.

Newsletter on Non-Judical Grievance Mechanisms - November 2014 - Read More…