While BIC does not specialize in addressing labor safeguards concerns, we work closely with several organizations who do. For further information on labor safeguards, please contact our partners at the International Trade Union Confederation.
During the World Bank’s Safeguards review, the Bank considered expanding on its eight existing policies to include emerging issue areas. The World Bank recognized that labor and occupational health and safety is an important issue, but there are currently no explicit protections for workers in the Bank’s Safeguard policies. While the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has incorporated the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) core labor standards (CLS) in its performance standards, the World Bank has not updated its policies to rise the same level of protection.
Trade unions have made the following recommendations for a labor safeguard to the World Bank:
1. The policy should require compliance with all four CLS and properly adapted requirements for other basic working conditions (namely, provision of information to employees and occupational safety and health, retrenchment procedures, grievance mechanisms and supply chain standards). It should be developed through communication with trade unions and the International Labour Organization.
2. The policy should require adequate monitoring of compliance by World Bank staff and the Inspection Panel must be an avenue of recourse to examine complaints about possible non-compliance.
3. As with other safeguards provisions, corrective action should be taken promptly to correct incidences of non-compliance, and failure to take corrective action would result in loss of financial support.