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While BIC does not specialize in addressing involuntary resettlement safeguards concerns, we work closely with several organizations who do. For further information on involuntary resettlement safeguards, please contact our partners at Inclusive Development International, the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement, or Oxfam.
We all have a right to adequate housing, including protection from eviction. This right is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, every year millions of people are forcibly evicted from their homes, communities and lands to make way for development projects such as mines, oil and gas pipelines, roads, mega-dams, and ports. Indirect impacts from these projects, including land and real estate speculation, changes in land use and environmental pollution, further escalate the number of displaced people.
While displacement may be necessary in exceptional circumstances, land acquisition and forced evictions caused by development largely occur in a manner that does leads to the increased impoverishment of those who are affected. For example, in 2003-2005, a World-Bank funded urban transport project in Mumbai involuntarily displaced more than 100,000 people, who were relocated to sites that lacked access to water, sewerage, and other basic necessities.
Displacement often comes hand-in-hand with egregious corruption and the use or threat of violence to force people from their homes. Those impacted by displacement face a number of well-documented specific risks including: homelessness; loss of livelihood; food insecurity; psychological trauma; negative health impacts; increased morbidity, especially among women and children; economic and cultural marginalization; and social disintegration.
BIC assists communities that are facing forced displacement from development projects financed by the World Bank Group. BIC facilitates dialogue between the communities and World Bank management to try to find ways to prevent or minimize involuntary resettlement. If displacement is inevitable, BIC assists communities in advocating for a proper resettlement package that maintains or improves their living conditions, including access to good livelihood opportunities and essential services such as access to water and electricity.
BIC is currently working with communities on the following World Bank Group projects:
Joint Safeguards Submission on Resettlement and Land CSO Coalition, 2015
Land Rights and the New WB Safeguards: Case Studies Inclusive Development International, 2015
Following the Money: An advocate’s guide to securing accountability in agricultural investments Inclusive Development International, 2015
Joint Statement on Phase 2 Consultations ESS5 – Land and Resettlement CSO Coalition, 2014
Reforming the World Bank Policy on Involuntary Resettlement: Submission BIC and partners, 2013
Recommendations for the Review of the Policy on Involuntary Resettlement CSO Coalition, 2013
BIC Safeguards Campaign Coordinator
+1 (202) 624-0625