MIGA Position Statement on Retaliation Against Civil Society and Project Stakeholders
MIGA recognizes the responsibility of the private sector to respect human rights. MIGA’s Sustainability Framework integrates human rights considerations, applicable to business, into our environmental and social standards, due diligence, and monitoring processes. The projects we support must adhere to our Performance Standards as required in our contracts of guarantee. The advice we give to our Clients1 must be consistent with these standards.
Respect for human rights includes the ability of stakeholders to engage freely with MIGA and its Clients. This is essential to promoting positive development outcomes. Civil society organizations (CSOs) and project-impacted stakeholders must be able to provide feedback, voice opposition, and raise concerns with MIGA’s Clients and MIGA when necessary to ensure that environmental and social impacts in MIGA-supported projects are avoided, minimized or mitigated and that the project achieves its intended development impact. We value the input and views of all stakeholders.
MIGA does not tolerate any action by a MIGA Client that amounts to retaliation—including threats, intimidation, harassment, or violence—against those who voice their opinion regarding the activities of MIGA or its Clients. We take seriously any credible allegations of reprisals.
When MIGA receives complaints of this nature, we work—within the scope of our mandate—with our Clients or other appropriate parties to try to address them. In such instances, we raise our concerns directly with the Client or relevant party, make our position against reprisals clear, and take follow-up actions as and where appropriate. We will make all efforts to safeguard identities and confidential information shared with us in this regard.
We are working on internal protocols and staff guidance to raise awareness and guide action, including integrating these concerns into MIGA’s contextual risk screening procedures to identify operating contexts, which are high risk for retaliation and violence.
MIGA’s Performance Standards focus on risk identification, avoidance, and mitigation related to project-impacted individuals and communities. Performance Standard 1 requires our Clients to undertake stakeholder engagement and ensure disclosure of information. Clients are also required to establish a project-level grievance mechanism for local communities that is accessible and implemented without retribution to the party that originated the issue or concern.
The Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), MIGA’s independent accountability mechanism, provides an important additional grievance channel for communities affected by MIGA-supported projects. CAO has developed an approach with respect to complainant protection and threats of reprisals, which is available here.
We are committed to learning and improving and continue to seek opportunities to enhance MIGA’s due diligence and supervision, and our Clients’ implementation of our Performance Standards. For more information see https://www.miga.org/environmental-social-sustainability.
1 The term “Client” is used throughout this statement to refer to the project enterprise or the guarantee holder, or the borrower of any loan guaranteed by MIGA, as is appropriate in the context.