Tell the World Bank to respect indigenous rights in its Safeguard policy
  • Petitioned Mr. Charles Di Leva

This petition was delivered to:

Chief Counsel, The World Bank
Mr. Charles Di Leva
Senior Advisor, Operational Policies, The World Bank
Mr. Stephen Lintner
Indigenous Peoples Adviser, The World Bank
Mr. Navin Rai
Coordinator, FCPF, The World Bank
Mr. Benoit Bosquet
Director, Social Development Department, The World Bank
Mr. Cyprian Fisiy
Director, Environmental Department, The World Bank
Ms. Mary Barton-Dock
Director, Agriculture and Rural Development, The World Bank
Mr. Juergen Voegele
Forest Advisor, The World Bank
Mr. Gerhard Dieterle
Vice President, Sustainable Development Network, The World Bank
Ms. Rachel Kyte
Managing Director, The World Bank
Caroline Anstey
Vice President, SDN
Rachel Kyte
Vice President, Operations Policy and Country Services, The World Bank
Mr. Joachim von Amsberg

Tell the World Bank to respect indigenous rights in its Safeguard policy

    1. Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
    2. Petition by

      Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

      Chiang Mai, Thailand

The World Bank’s Safeguard Policy on Indigenous Peoples (Operational Policy 4.10, July 2005) underscores the need for Borrowers and Bank staff to identify indigenous peoples, consult with them, ensure that they participate in, and benefit from Bank-funded operations in a culturally appropriate way - and that adverse impacts on them are avoided, or where not feasible, minimized or mitigated.

We, 130 indigenous peoples organizations and support NGOs, express our dismay at the long drawn process of the Safeguard Policy review. Since it was announced on November 15 2010, no concrete steps to engage with indigenous peoples have been undertaken on the review process. Further, no draft policy has been made publicly available till today. In the recent information update in Panama, indigenous peoples were informed that the process of review has been extended to end of 2013.

According to a learning review of the policy in 2011, the World Bank lacks tools to adequately assess and monitor the proper application of the safeguard policies.  In particular, this inadequacy relates to the conduct of Free Prior and Informed Consultation, the implementation of Indigenous Peoples Plan and the review of the borrower country legal frameworks on indigenous peoples as well as the need to require a stronger recognition of indigenous peoples land rights among others.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007 affirmed that respect, protection and fulfillment of the collective rights of indigenous peoples are an integral part of international human rights standards. This underpins the need to re-align social safeguards for indigenous peoples with this human rights instrument.  In this respect, several international institutions, as well as bilateral donors and private banking institutions standards have already mainstreamed the UNDRIP including the right to Free Prior Informed consent. International Financial Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group also adopted this principle. Indigenous peoples have long been demanding the World Bank to revise its policy to make it consistent with the UNDRIP.

We express serious concerns about the possibility of the policy being incorporated into a broader social safeguard policy, instead of retaining it as a stand-alone policy for indigenous peoples. Further, with the proposed Programme for Results (P4R) that may result to the application of safeguard policies only to Bank activities in certain sectors such as infrastructure development, we reiterate that safeguard policies have to apply to the entire World Bank activities, projects and programmes. If adopted in the current formulation, the P4R may also result in dilution of accountability, as well as social and environmental responsibility of the institution.

Given this context, the review of the Indigenous Peoples Policy is long overdue and further delay for another two years is unacceptable. Thus, we urge the WB to review the Indigenous Peoples Policy independently from the other safeguard policies.  The Indigenous Peoples Policy should thereby be maintained as a stand-alone policy with the incorporation of the following elements:

1.    The right to Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ILO Convention 169, along with the recognition and respect of the rights of indigenous peoples.

2.    The recognition of pastoralism as a livelihood and a lifestyle and the inclusion of pastoralist people as indigenous peoples in World Bank policies, in particular in the Indigenous Peoples Policy.

3.    The recognition and respect of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation. In particular, no project shall take place in their territories.

4.    The effective and immediate solution of the gaps and shortcomings of the implementation of OP4.0 based on the IP Policy Learning review, as described above.

We also urge the Bank to immediately draft the revised policy to include the elements listed above, and make it publicly available in multiple languages not later than December 2011. Likewise, the World Bank should conduct national, regional and global consultations. The revised Indigenous Peoples policy should be submitted to the Board of Executive Directors for its consideration by June of 2012.

Please click here to see the original letter sent to the World Bank on 17 October and sign this petition to add your support to our letter.

Recent signatures


    1. WB extends updating and consolidation of its policies to Dec 2013

      Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
      Petition Organizer

      In response to a number of stakeholders, including CSOs and NGOs, the World Bank has extended the planned period for the process of updating and consolidation of the environmental and social safeguard polices with an anticipated completion date of December 2013. This extension has been heavily influenced by requests from several stakeholders to provide translations of draft documents in multiple languages and to allow time for more extensive discussions and consultations at the global, regional and national level with a wide range of stakeholders. The consultation process would include specific provisions for consultations with Indigenous Peoples and also information sessions held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, such as that already held in May 2011.

      Hence, we need to continue our pressure to the Bank to keep the consultation participatory and transparent.

    2. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • almost 3 years ago

      The World Bank actually needs to learn from the ancestral wisdom of indigenous peoples.

    • Alex Gentry ASHLAND, OR
      • almost 3 years ago

      I sign this petition for the cause of all who fight for the rights of indigenous people, whether they are indigenous or not. I will not condone the mistreatment and discrimination against indigenous peoples, their cultures, their religions, and their languages. Long live the indigenous.

    • Merindah Donnelly BONDI JUNCTION, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      The world bank needas to uphold international standards in human rights and the UNDRIP

    • Bikramjit Sengupta AGARTALA, INDIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      The indigenous people should be given the more importance in the Society because they are the traditional habitats of our earth. The only way to free the indigenous community from all types of oppression is to abolish 'Capitalism'.

    • Hommiza Raman NEW DELHI, INDIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Indigenous People like the Amnesty International coaster reads, are not for sale!!! Respect our "basic" rights.


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