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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

International Financial Institutions and Human Rights

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 1:30pm


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on international financial institutions (IFIs) and human rights.

International financial institutions exert considerable influence on international development through their lending, grant-making, technical assistance and research. The World Bank, which has set itself the goal of eliminating extreme poverty, is arguably the most important international development agency. However, the World Bank has resisted incorporating human rights standards into its work. Many World Bank projects have been strongly criticized for generating highly prejudicial effects at the domestic level, such as land grabs and forced displacement. The inclusion of human rights standards in the design and evaluation of World Bank and other IFI development projects could assist in preventing such effects. Human rights observations could furthermore play a positive role by offering guidance to the World Bank and other IFIs on programs and projects to promote at the country and project level.

The first panel of hearing witnesses will discuss case studies of the negative consequences of development projects funded by IFIs. The second panel will focus on recommendations for advancing towards the incorporation of human rights into the work of the World Bank and other IFIs.

For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or or Carson Middleton (for Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411 or 

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Opening remarks


Panel I: Case studies

  • Obang Metho, Executive Director, Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia
    Written testimony
  • Milton Sanchez, General Secretary, The Interinstitutional Platform of Celendin
    Written testimony
  • Nezir Sinani, Safeguards Coordinator and Climate Change Coordinator, Bank Information Center
    Written testimony

Panel II: Recommendations

  • Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
    Written testimony





114th Congress