Bank on Human Rights Coalition decides strategic priorities

Publish Date: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Bank on Human Rights Coalition - a global coalition of social movements, civil society organizations, and grassroots groups working to ensure that all development finance institutions respect, protect, and fulfill human rights - had their first gathering from February 5-7, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The meeting was attended by 33 members and allies from seventeen countries.

The meeting was designed to consider priorities for the Coalition over the coming years, building on the existing work priorities: Community Engagement, National-Level Advocacy and Development Finance Institution Advocacy. In the area of Community Engagement, the meeting produced some clear areas for on-going collaboration, including increasing access to information related to risks from development projects and avenues for accountability; collectively campaigning in relation to at least 2 emblematic cases; and facilitating access to decision makers at national and international level.  

Regarding National-Level Advocacy, the three priority areas for action include increasing transparency of national-level decision-making related to development finance, ‘democratising’ decision-making on development finance, and increasing consistency of national positions on development finance. 

Finally, in the relation to Development Finance Institution (DFI) Advocacy, the priorities focused on strengthening of the World Bank safeguards that are currently in redevelopment; shaping standards, transparency, accountability and access to remedy of the new BRICS bank standards; supporting Coalition members to shape other DFI standards; and increasing understanding and use of Human Rights Due Diligence in the context of development finance.

The final day of the meeting was a convening between civil society representatives and officials from the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to discuss human rights and development finance activities. The Legal Resources Centre, both an ESCR-Net and BHRC member, is following on conclusions of this meeting with the officials present.

For further information on the gathering, please see the meeting report here. To become involved in the Coalition, co-founded by ESCR-Net, please contact Dom Renfrey at:, or the Coalition's Coordinator, Gretchen Gordon at: