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Global Project Finance, Human Rights and Sustainable Development

by David Ong Sheldon Leader

Many infrastructure projects around the world are funded through the project finance method, which combines private financing with public sector backing from multilateral finance institutions such as the World Bank. This examination of the theoretical and practical implications of such funding begins with a discussion of the relationship between the financial structuring of these projects and finance, policy and legal disciplines, especially in the form of investment law, human rights and environmental law. A number of case studies are then examined to provide practical insights into the application (or otherwise) of human rights and sustainable development objectives within such projects. While these theoretical perspectives do not conclude that the project finance method detracts from the application or implementation of human rights and sustainable development objectives, they do highlight the potential for the prioritisation of investment returns at the expense of human rights and environmental protection standards.

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