World Bank operational policies must be in line with the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples

Date of publication: 
27 March 2013

On 21 and 22 March 2013, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples participated in an “Expert Focus Group Seminar on Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples” and a “High Level Meeting on Engagement and Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples”, hosted by the World Bank. The meetings, which took place in Manila, Philippines, were carried out the context of the World Bank’s review of its environmental and social safeguard policies, including its Operational Policy 4.10 on indigenous peoples, which apply to the Bank’s lending for investments in specific projects.

In his statements at the meetings, the Special Rapporteur emphasized that the revised policy should be consistent with rights of indigenous peoples affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He further urged that the policies that apply to all the Bank’s financial and technical assistance, and not just its investment lending, be reviewed to ensure consistency with the Declaration.