A Community Guide to the ADB Involuntary Resettlement Safeguards
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) works with governments around the region to develop infrastructure, draft laws and policies and build technical capacity of public servants. The ADB’s stated mission is to reduce poverty and improve quality of lives. However, over 100,000 people in Asia are adversely affected by projects financed by the ADB each year. Displacement from homes, land and livelihoods to make way for “development projects” is one of the most common adverse impacts on local communities.
Many people around the world have become poorer and suffer severe hardship as a result of displacement. Instead of benefiting from development, these people lose out and their lives are made worse off because of ADB-funded projects, despite the Bank’s stated mission. Frequently, local communities are not given an opportunity to participate in the decisions about whether the development project takes place and how they will be affected.
In recognition of these problems, the ADB updated its Involuntary Resettlement Safeguard Policy in 2009. The key aims of this policy are to avoid and minimize displacement and to ensure that no one is made worse off as a result of a project funded by the ADB.
BAB Cambodia developed A Community Guide to the ADB Involuntary Resettlement Safeguards to help make this policy understandable and accessible to Cambodians who are affected by ADB-funded projects. The guide also explains local grievance processes, the ADB Accountability Mechanism and the use of other forms of advocacy so that local communities can use this information to defend their rights and hold the ADB and the Government accountable.
The Facilitators’ Edition uses interactive activities to help people understand the information, take part in discussions, and learn important skills, even if they cannot read or write. This way, everyone can participate in monitoring ADB-funded projects to see if they are complying with the Involuntary Resettlement Safeguard Policy and take action to defend their rights when policies are being violated.
While the Guide is written for Cambodian communities, the information and activities it contains are also useful for communities affected by ADB projects throughout the region. BAB Cambodia encourages interested groups to adapt and translate the Guide for use in other Asian countries.
The Guide was developed throughout 2010 and tested during a four-day workshop, held from September 20-23, 2010. The workshop was attended by thirty-four members of various communities that are affected by the ADB-funded Railway Rehabilitation Project, a project aimed at rehabilitating approximately 650 km of Cambodia’s predominantly derelict railway system and affecting more than 4000 families throughout the country. During the training, participants were equipped with knowledge of the most critical aspects of the ADB Policy on Involuntary Resettlement. They were also trained how to monitor ADB-funded projects for compliance with the policy and how to hold the Government and ADB accountable for non-compliance.
Click on the links below to download A Community Guide to the ADB Involuntary Resettlement Safeguards in English and Khmer.