OECD To Probe Rights Abuse Allegations Against WWF


OECD to probe rights abuse allegations against WWF

GENEVA, Jan 6, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 06th Jan, 2017 ) - The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will in an unprecedented step probe allegations that conservation group WWF has fostered rights abuses against tribes in Cameroon.

British rights group Survival International said this week it had convinced the OECD to investigate its claim that WWF had partially funded and provided logistical support to anti-poaching government "ecoguards" who have allegedly been systematically abusing the hunter-gatherer Baka people and other rainforest tribes for decades.

"Baka have been forced from large areas of their ancestral land and face violence from WWF-funded anti-poaching squads if they hunt, forage or visit sacred sites," Survival said in a statement.

The NGO, which campaigns for tribal people's rights, alleged that the Baka had for more than 20 years faced abuse including "arrest and beatings, torture and even death" at the hands of the eco guards.

It submitted a formal complaint last February to the OECD's national office in Switzerland, where WWF is headquartered. The OECD's Swiss branch agreed last month to look into the matter, according to a report on its website, which stressed that it would serve as a mediator between the two organisations and that its future conclusions "should not be construed as a judgment."