You are here: Home / News / World Bank forced to admit failings on human rights scandal in Honduras

World Bank forced to admit failings on human rights scandal in Honduras

According to a joint civil society press release, the World Bank has been forced to backtrack on a controversial investment in Corporación Dinant, a palm oil company implicated in serious human rights abuses in Honduras.

On January 10th the World Bank's internal watchdog, the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO), released one of the most damning investigations ever. In response, the Bank’s private-sector lending arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) issued an action plan that, according to civil society organizations, fails to address most of the investigation’s findings.

The press release reports that "following widespread negative press coverage, an outcry from civil society organizations, and criticism from the Bank’s Board, the IFC today admitted errors and promised to ‘refine’ its action plan and ‘reflect on’ internal problems that led to mistakes".

The civil society groups welcome the IFC’s admission of its mistakes, and credit the Bank’s Board for stepping in when the Bank’s management had failed to respond appropriately. However, they find that the IFC’s new response "still falls seriously short of laying out a plan to ensure that communities’ human rights are respected in future".

"The IFC’s new statement fails to promise any engagement with affected communities, fails to hold staff accountable for their mistakes, fails to give a timeline for implementation of the action plan, and does not contain concrete enough steps to address the internal institutional culture that led staff to overlook and dismiss social and environmental risks and concerns".

For the press release, please click here