Social Justice Connection

Religious Leaders Join in Asking World Bank President Kim to Support Human Rights

The absence of a human rights policy will be a contentious topic at World Bank policy discussions this weekend


Montreal, QC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/15/2016 --Religious leaders of various faiths have joined together in a letter to World Bank President Kim asking that the organization adopt a human rights policy. The World Bank distributes billions of dollars every year with no obligation to international human rights law and does not require human rights impact assessments in its projects.

Human rights will be a highly discussed topic at the 2016 Spring Meetings from April 15-17, in Washington, DC, during which the latest draft of the World Bank's new social protection policy, expected this summer, will be discussed.

"Adopting a more explicit human rights approach would help ensure that the World Bank's resources are used well in its noble goal of a world free of poverty, and not in ways that contribute to persecution on the basis of religion and belief," the letter states.

The letter was signed by people of various faiths, including Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh, along with inter-faith networks around the world.

"The purpose of this letter is not to ask that the funding to repressive regimes stop," said Derek MacCuish, executive director of Social Justice Connection, which organized the letter effort. "It asks that the World Bank recognize international human rights law, and conduct impact assessments to ensure that its funding does not support violations of human rights such as freedom of religion."

For an overview of human rights violations in countries receiving World Bank funding, please refer to this document. The letter to Dr. Kim is available at the web site of Social Justice Connection, here.