The World Bank’s private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has committed to upholding the human rights of populations affected by its investment projects since at least 2012, with the launch of its updated Performance Standards. These eight standards mandate adequate assessment of project risks and management planning, as well as rigorous oversight of labour conditions, waste management, pollution prevention and biodiversity protection, community safety and security, indigenous and cultural rights, and protections against economic or physical displacement.
IFC has several significant investments in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR or the Uyghur Region) in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), where indigenous peoples have been subjected to what international legislators, legal scholars, and advocates have determined to be a genocide.
Significant evidence suggests that several of IFC’s clients are active participants in the implementation of the PRC government’s campaign of repression against the Uyghurs, including through forced labour, forced displacement, cultural erasure, and environmental destruction. IFC’s failure to adequately safeguard communities and the environment affected by its financing in the Uyghur Region makes the institution complicit in the repression of Uyghur, Kazakh, and other minoritized citizens
Evidence drawn from corporate disclosures and publicity campaigns, government directives and state media, and other publicly accessible information reveals that these four companies have:
- directly participated in and benefited from state-sponsored forced labour programs,
- directly participated in and benefited from state-sponsored compulsory land expropriation,
- participated in programs that require minoritized citizens to take oaths to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and be subjected to indoctrination,
- recruited workers through overtly racist/discriminatory hiring practices,
- assigned minoritized citizens to do hazardous work without safety equipment,
- contributed to the environmental destruction of affected and indigenous communities,
- contributed to the destruction of cultural heritage, and
- failed to fully implement IFC’s required monitoring and assessment of its Performance Standards.
"Financing & Genocide" presents credible evidence that IFC financing is contributing to companies committing gross human rights abuses against Uyghur peoples in the XUAR and makes evidence-based recommendations to IFC and other development finance institutions. This report also emphasizes the way desk-based due diligence can expose the disinformation campaigns that the PRC government and corporations uses to justify its campaign of repression and to reveal the companies that are intertwined with the oppression in the region. This may be of use to both companies investigating their suppliers and to investors for which environmental, social, and governance standards matter.