Social Justice Connection

Social Justice Connection

October 16, 2015 15:00 ET

Federal Parties Respond to Concern That $1 Billion/Year Aid to the World Bank May Support Human Rights Violations

Liberals and NDP express different levels of concern, Green Party expresses alarm, no response from Conservatives

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Oct. 16, 2015) - Asked for a response to SJC concerns about the use of funds sent to the World Bank, the Green Party and the NDP provided informed and specific statements, the Liberals provided a general comment lacking specifics, and the Conservatives did not comment.

Each year 10% of Canada's foreign aid goes to the World Bank - about $1 billion. These funds are subject to Canadian law, under the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, requiring foreign aid to be used in a manner consistent with the promotion of human rights, defined in terms of international law and custom.

The World Bank does not have a policy to protect human rights, does not conduct human rights assessments in projects or acknowledge obligations under international human rights agreements.

NDP: "…the approach adopted by the government does not provide decision makers with assurance on how two key conditions of the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act are met- taking into account the perspectives of the poor and being consistent with international human rights standards."

"Liberals are concerned that the Conservative government used omnibus legislation to remove some development activities outside the ambit of the ODAA, such as the Development Finance Initiative (DFI)."

"The Green Party shares your concern that, since the World Bank has no human rights policy, we are losing a key component of accountability. We are alarmed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston's, recent report showing that "For most purposes, the World Bank is currently a human rights free zone. In its operational policies, in particular, it treats human rights more like an infectious disease than universal values and obligations."

For information and the complete statements from the federal political parties, visit the website

About Social Justice Connection

The SJC is a Montreal-based charity that has conducted human rights education and advocacy since 1975.

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