Encourage World Bank to Safeguard Human Rights


Target: World Bank Managing Director Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Goal: Take steps to prevent human rights abuses in developing countries

The World Bank is currently one of the largest corporations with a focus on developing nations. Every year, it spends billions on various projects intended to help eradicate poverty in small nations. Unfortunately, these projects sometimes have unintended consequences that endanger the human rights of the very people they aim to assist. Now, as the World Bank’s Washington Conference looms, is the time to suggest bridging this policy gap.

One place where The World Bank has indirectly, unintentionally caused human rights violations is Vietnam, where The World Bank funds detention programs for drug-related offences that have been connected with forced labor, torture, and other forms of abuse. While supporting these actions certainly isn’t The World Bank’s intention, it is nevertheless contributing to these abusive programs continued existence and human rights violations.

Another type of accidental contribution to violence is happening in Ethiopia, where The World Bank is funding a “villagization” plan by the Ethiopian government. The idea behind viligization is that indigenous people whose home villages lack clean water or other services can, with consent, be relocated to villages where these things are available. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian government has used the funds provided by The World Bank to violently extract people from their home villages, and transport them to large refugee camps.

While misappropriation of funds is unfortunately a very common result of these types of projects, The World Bank is, in fact, partially responsible for the violence that is happening. The company’s management has refused to acknowledge or demand that the above abuses be stopped, preferring instead to let these blatant human rights violations occur. It is the World Bank’s responsibility as a charitable corporation to prevent these abuses of funds from occurring. Tell The World Bank that, while the work it does is noble, human rights must also be considered.


Dear Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati,

The World Bank is one of the world’s largest charitable organizations, and does a variety of excellent work to help small nations develop. However, an unfortunate reality in activism is that sometimes funds get misappropriated, as has happened recently in Vietnam and Ethiopia, where The World Bank is now unintentionally supporting violent, rights-violating programs.

It is vital that The World Bank hold the organizations it supports accountable for their actions. A provision should be added to the company policy enshrining human rights, and action taken against the governments that have misused your funds.


[Your Name Here]

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68 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • sheila childs
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Mal Gaff
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Holly Hall
  • jeff hopkins
  • Marianne Oelman
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