Mega-Dams and Indigenous Human Rights
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Mega-Dams and Indigenous Human Rights

Itzchak Kornfeld

This original and insightful book explores and examines the impact that building mega-dams has on the human rights of those living in surrounding areas, and in particular those of indigenous peoples who are often most affected. Compiling case studies from around the world, Itzchak Kornfeld provides clear examples of how human rights violations are perpetrated and compounded, with chapters examining historical, recent and ongoing dam projects.
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Chapter 4: Funding mega-dams: the multilateral banks

Itzchak Kornfeld


The World Bank, or the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was established in order to fund the reconstruction of Europe following World War II. It and its sister multilateral banks were established to loan funds, in order to help developing countries build infrastructure, such as dams and roads. IBRDs, IADBs and other multilateral banks’ failures have received a good deal of scrutiny in the literature. Commentators have addressed a variety of subjects, including the Bank’s lack of accountability for human rights violations; issues related to public participation; population displacement and resettlement. The Banks’ loan processes are meant to maintain management’s control not only over the loan process, but over the borrower. That is, the IDRB, and the other Multi-Development Banks, created later, deal solely with sovereigns: this is an antiquated Westphalian mindset, where citizens have no privity in the process and are therefore precluded from seeking a place at the table. However, these institutions’ actions cause misery to the people who are relocated from their homes.

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