Good Practice

Good Practice Note for the Private Sector: Addressing the Risks of Retaliation Against Project Stakeholders

March 24, 2021

Reprisals against those who voice concerns or opposition to development projects have grown in visibility worldwide. Victims of reprisals can be both internal to a company or project, as well as external stakeholders, including community members, activists, and members of civil society organizations. IDB Invest and IFC have developed this guidance to provide our clients and other private sector companies and their consultants with practical advice for screening, preventing, and responding to reprisals. The client stakeholder engagement and grievance mechanisms required by our safeguard standards are the entry point for these efforts.

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IFC approach to reprisal allegations and prevention

IFC Position Statement on Retaliation Against Civil Society and Project Stakeholders (October 2018): IFC does not tolerate any action by an IFC client that amounts to retaliation – including threats, intimidation, harassment, or violence – against those who voice their opinion regarding the activities of IFC or our clients.

IFC takes seriously any credible allegations of retaliation and, within the scope of our mandate, works with clients or other appropriate partners to address them. In such instances, IFC raises its concerns directly with the client or relevant party, makes its position against reprisals clear, and takes follow-up actions as appropriate. Any such communications and actions will be in consultation with the complainant when possible, and respecting their confidentiality. IFC seeks to prevent reprisals through the identification of risks in its due diligence processes and engagement with clients and partners on environmental and social (E&S) risk management for projects.

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