Toggle navigation


International Banks

Most major natural resource exploitation projects require some sort of financing. International financial institutions (IFIs) often have great leverage over how these projects are carried out.

The  World  Bank and many other  IFIs have adopted safeguard policies designed to prevent environmental and social harm, as well as accountability mechanisms where affected communities can raise complaints. While these efforts have gone a long way towards protecting human rights, they do not provide sufficient protection for human rights defenders.

Increasingly, those IFIs that do have strong environmental and social protections – such as the World Bank – are investing less in the most controversial projects. Instead, the most corrupt and destructive companies are looking to IFIs controlled by China, Brazil, India, and other countries in the Global South, which provide financing without any regard for the protection of human rights defenders.

The World Bank and many other IFIs have safeguard policies to prevent environmental and social harm, and accountability mechanisms to address violations of these policies. While in theory these policies and mechanisms may be leveraged to protect communities and the environment, they do not sufficiently provide protection to human rights defenders.
84 %
Of defenders killed in 2017 received at least one targeted death threat prior to their killing (Frontline Defenders).
12 %
Of cases involving the murder of human rights defenders resulted in the arrest of suspects in 2017 (Frontline Defenders).