Over the past decade, the World Bank has regularly failed to enforce its "safeguard" policies protecting some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet. Those rules are intended to ensure families evicted to make way for dams, power plants or other big projects are resettled and their livelihoods restored. The scope of “involuntary resettlement,” as the bank calls it, is vast, physically or economically displacing an estimated 3.4 million people, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Huffington Post and other media partners has found.
The World Bank often neglects to properly review projects ahead of time to make sure communities are protected, and frequently has no idea what happens to people after they are removed. In many cases, it has continued to do business with governments that have abused their citizens, sending a signal that borrowers have little to fear if they violate the bank’s rules, according to current and former bank employees.