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UN experts: World Bank must adopt human rights standards

A group of UN independent experts urged [press release] the World Bank [official website] on Thursday to adopt human rights standards that will protect vulnerable populations at the World Bank's meeting on the organization's social policies. The UN experts want to ensure that the World Bank will respect human rights in all their practices, including but not limited to investment lending. The group of independent experts includes the Special Rapporteurs on extreme poverty and human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, the right to food, and the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights. The experts called on the World Bank to expand the scope of areas under the organization's human rights policies, as the organization concluded the first week of reviewing its social policies.

The UN human rights office continues to push for improvements around the globe. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday expressed concern [JURIST report] over reports of human rights violations in the Central African Republic (CAR) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Since the Seleka coalition forces launched their offensive in December, there have been numerous reports of human rights violations, including targeted killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, rape, disappearances, kidnappings and recruitment of children. Last October, the World Bank announced [JURIST report] that former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [JURIST news archive] will audit an investigation conducted by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh (ACC) into whether there are corrupt officials involved in the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project.

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