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Access to effective remedy at international financial institutions?

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.

Non-judicial grievance mechanisms at IFI’s, like the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman at the International Financial Corporation and the Asian Development Bank’s Accountability Mechanism, offer people harmed by their projects a process for voicing complaints and investigating allegations. While these mechanisms represent one of the only accesses to available remedy, given the legal immunity that IFIs enjoy throughout the world, a considerable gap remains between current practice and the effectiveness criteria for non-judicial mechanisms set out in Principle 21 of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The panellists will reflect on the opportunities for justice that these mechanisms offer, as well as their shortcomings, and they will make suggestions for how they can be improved. There will be room for discussion afterwards.

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