22 October 2020

From Juukan to Jharkhand: Demanding Accountability for Desecration of Indigenous Cultural Heritage

In September, senior executives at mining giant Rio Tinto resigned over the destruction of ancient Aboriginal caves in Juukan Gorge in Western Australia after communities and investors alike voiced concerns that the company was failing to hold them accountable for their actions. This incident has focused attention on the need for accountability for the destruction of indigenous cultural heritage in development projects globally.

Across the Indian Ocean, Adivasi communities and World Bank shareholders are closely watching the Bank’s response to the desecration of sacred sites in Jharkhand. The Bank’s funding of water supply infrastructure on lands of deep cultural significance is the subject of community complaints and an investigation by the Bank’s independent watchdog. Read the full op-ed here.