Development & human rights
For fundamental rights
Public banks have an enormous impact on the livelihoods and living conditions of people in their countries of operations around the world.
Outside of Europe, a multitude of public banks acting under the name of development, including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), finance projects that too often ignore the voice of local communities and threaten their fundamental freedoms, economic situation and environment.
A key topic for Counter Balance relates to the human rights impacts of the operations of public banks, especially in the case of large infrastructure projects like mines, dams or pipelines. Unfortunately a public bank like the EIB is far from prioritising the protection of human rights in its investments.
Another question relates to the type of development model that is supported by the public banks. Too often their operations tend to favor an outdated and problematic development model - largely built on physical and financial extraction - which ultimately exacerbates inequalities rather than alleviating them.
We monitor European investments outside of Europe in order to expose harmful impacts and we work in solidarity with affected communities around the world for them to have a say in their future.
In parallel, we campaign to reform development finance so that it can focus on tackling inequalities, be pro-poor, respect human rights and truly help the sustainable development of communities and their territories.
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