No time to celebrate: a breakthrough for human rights is needed after 30 years of the EBRD
Study | 21 June 2021
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) stands out among multilateral development banks with the commitment of its shareholding countries to the fundamental principles of democracy and respect for human rights. As the EBRD celebrates its 30th anniversary, it is a perfect moment to reflect on the Bank’s track record, human rights policy framework and operational approach. Has the Bank taken the necessary steps to address the emerging challenges related to democratic transition and respect for human rights in its regions of operations? What progress has been made in the last three decades and what gaps remain to be addressed for a robust system that prevents violations and promotes rights?
This report finds that the EBRD has a well-developed and yet ineffective system for assessing political risks and safeguarding human rights. It outlines the situation in six countries of operation (Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Egypt and Ukraine) and the practical challenges concerning human rights there. The selection attempts to present the problem in different regions of operations and link it to civil society’s experiences with the EBRD’s operations and policy dialogue. Based on these experiences, the report makes constructive recommendations on specific steps that the EBRD should take to improve its approach in order to ensure respect for human rights and support democratic decision-making for development in its countries of operation.