The World Bank and Indigenous Peoples: the Operational Policy on Indigenous Peoples (O.P. 4.10.) Between Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Traditional Lands and to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent STEFANIA ERRICO* 1. Introduction Traditionally, few States have taken the rights and interests of indigenous peoples into account when making plans for development projects. The integrationist approach, aiming at assimilating the indigenous communities into the dominant society, has for long endangered indigenous peoples’ very identity and survival by imposing paths of development which paid no attention to their values and perspec- tives. Though this approach has not yet been totally overcome, 1 at present the major threat to indigenous peoples originates in the increasing focus on the so-called ‘underdeveloped regions’ – overlapping indigenous areas – in order to extract natu- ral resources, establish industrial plants, build dams and gas as well as oil pipelines. 2 Thus, national interest to development seems to have come into sharp conflict with indigenous peoples’ rights over their traditional lands. In this respect, the World Bank 3 plays a crucial role. Founded in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference to provide reconstruction financing to European states in the aftermath of the Second World War, it
International Journal on Minority and Group Rights – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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