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Independent Review Recommends Funding to Address Harms

An external review of the World Bank Group’s private funding institutions found that social and environmental abuses caused by their development projects went largely unaddressed, leaving victims without remedies. The review focused on the…
202008bhr_unitedstates_ifcmigacao
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Bangladesh Allows Kids to Receive Formal Education

Bangladesh will allow 10,000 ethnic Rohingya refugee children to get a formal school curriculum for the first time after the government approved a “pilot” education program. It’s a step in the right direction, but also an urgent reminder of how…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate
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“Azida” is a 12-year-old girl, born in Myanmar, but now growing up in neighboring Bangladesh. Forced out of her home at age 10 by a military campaign of ethnic cleansing, she now lives in the sprawling Cox’s Bazar refugee camps on the southern…
Posters inside a “learning center”
News

Reforms Need to Target the Underlying Soviet-Era System Encouraging Forced Labor

Despite a slew of steps taken to curb the practice, forced labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields remains widespread, according to a recently released report. The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), which has been monitoring…
Women carrying bags of cotton to be weighed and loaded onto a truck in Jizzakh region during the 2016 cotton harvest. The government typically requires people to meet a daily quota of cotton picked, from which the costs of food and transport are deducted.
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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
News

World Bank President Jim Kim Should Press to Eliminate Labor Abuses

Despite recent reforms, systematic forced labor was still rampant in 2017 in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector, new research shows. A report by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF), a German-based nongovernmental…
A woman picks cotton during the 2015 cotton harvest, which runs from early September to late October or early November annually.
News

Some Students, Teachers, Medical Workers Released

The recent release of 200,000 university students and some teachers and medical workers from forced labor picking cotton in Uzbekistan came shortly after World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s first meeting with the country’s new president, Shavkat…
News
On June 27 we released a joint report documenting forced and child labor linked to the World Bank’s agriculture projects in Uzbekistan. We hoped it would cause bank officials to rethink their approach. But then the bank’s country team…
A school-age boy hides under direction from a teacher who feared he would be seen by a monitor during the 2016 cotton harvest, Beruni district, Karakalpakstan
News
The World Bank president, Jim Kim, said last year that he was going to re-orient the institution, declaring, “We have to make growth more equitable.” But the World Bank’s investments in Uzbekistan tell a different story. The Bank has loaned more than half…
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Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
News
At last week’s Asian Development Bank (ADB) annual meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, high level officials highlighted key human rights messages. The Bank’s president, Takehiko Nakao, emphasized the importance of free speech for sustainable development in…
News
A report reveals that the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, its quasi-independent accountability mechanism, won’t investigate whether the bank is perpetuating forced labor in Uzbekistan, even though its initial examination found that bank projects in the…
News
This weekend, 2500 bankers, businesspeople, and bureaucrats convening in Romania for the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will neglect a significant aspect of the Bank's mission. The Bank was set up in 1991 to…