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Experts from the Global South to share their experiences with human rights and private investment at the IFC


Febraury 1, 2011

Washington, DC--Multinational corporations, international financial institutions (IFIs), and free trade and investment agreements drive development projects that often violate the human rights and legitimate interests of the peoples whose lives will be affected.  With troubling frequency, these investments exploit and privatize valuable natural resources—gold, oil or water—over the objections of local communities. 

In the past five years, global consensus has emerged around the UN Framework on Business and Human Rights.  The UN Framework identifies the steps corporations should take to ensure their operations respect human rights, and is being rapidly integrated into global standards for corporate responsibility.

At the same time, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, is reviewing its influential environmental and social policies.  These policies have also set a global standard for corporate conduct, and have been widely adopted by private banks, multinational companies, and export credit agencies.  As part of the IFC’s public consultation process, civil society organizations are examining whether the IFC’s proposed new policies and the UN Framework provide companies with a consistent set of standards. 

In an effort to ensure that these institutions promote a more sustainable model of development, CIEL has organized a panel at the IFC with three human rights experts from the Global South.  These experts will share their experiences with human rights and private investment, and their perspectives on the role of the IFC in setting human rights standards for its corporate clients. 

CIEL invites you to attend:

Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Time: 3:00-4:30pm
Location: International Finance Corporation
  2121 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
Panelists:  Chima Williams, Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria
  Daniel Taillant, Center for Human Rights and Environment, Argentina
  Sao Sotheary, Bridges Across Borders, Cambodia
  (See biographies below)
Moderator: Bill Bulmer, Director, Environmental and Social Development Department, IFC
RSVP:  Please email Alejandro Moreno (

Panelists’ Biographies:

Prince Chima Williams, Director of Legal Resources Department, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria

Prince Chima Williams, a Nigerian lawyer, actively campaigns nationally and internationally for globally enforceable environmental and human rights standards by all business operators to ensure respect for the environmental and human rights of local community people and has made submissions to the European Parliament in Brussels, the United Nations in Geneva and recently as a lead presenter at the International Bar Association, Annual Conference held in Vancouver, Canada.  He is coordinating litigation in the Netherlands by four Nigerian farmers and fishers, claiming damages as victims of Shell oil leaks.

Jorge Daniel Taillant, Strategic Advisor, Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA), Argentina

Daniel Taillant founded CEDHA in 1999, and served as Executive Director until 2006 and as President from 2006 to 2008. He led CEDHA's team in promoting sustainability in international development finance and greater corporate accountability in the area of human rights and sustainable development. He has published numerous publications focusing on the human rights and environment linkage. He has worked with numerous national and international organizations, including the United Nations, OAS, the World Bank, and the European Community. During 2006-2008 he served as Chief Strategic Advisor (ad honorem) to the Environment Secretary of Argentina. In 1996 he served as Provincial Coordinator and Micro-Credit Officer for a European Union Micro Finance program in rural Cambodia, based on the Grameen Bank model. While in Cambodia he also contributed ad honorem to a human rights and judicial strengthening program.

Ms. Sao Sotheary – Community Empowerment and Legal Awareness Program Manager, Bridges Across Borders Cambodia

Ms. Sao Sotheary came to Bridges Across Borders Cambodia (BABC) in June 2008 and is currently the Community Empowerment and Legal Awareness (CELA) Program Manager, focused on program and training activities regarding international and domestic land laws, gender and domestic violence, women’s rights, human rights, indigenous rights, and rural and urban communities affected by land grabbing and forced eviction. Sotheary came to BABC from GTZ where she was a Training Team Leader creating and delivering gender and domestic violence curriculum. Prior to GTZ, she worked at World Education developing materials and delivering training for the Health Education Program. Sotheary first obtained a Bachelors of Law Degree from the Royal University of Law and Economics and went on to receive her Masters Degree of Law from the same university.  She also received certificates of Administration Management, Gender, and Reproductive Rights.

For more information, please contact Kristen Genovese.

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