top of page

ADB funded project committing labor violations

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

September 2, 2019



Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Dear Pres. Nakao,

We are writing to you regarding the Accelerating Infrastructure Investment Facility in Himachal Pradesh, India, with project number 47083-002, approved on October 21, 2013. The project was implemented through the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) contractor Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).

The project’s goal was to alleviate poverty and provide an important infrastructure link between people and markets. Instead, the project has caused major problems to more than one hundred affected workers, leaving them with months of unpaid back wages and other legal benefits. As of February 2019, the project owes the affected workers a total of 22 million Indian rupees.

The project has resulted in other labour violations, including

1. No employment contracts

2. Forced overtime without pay

3. Forced weekend work

4. No social security coverage for the workers and their families

5. Violation of the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining

6. No specific facilities for women workers

7. Gross negligence on occupational health and safety (OHS) and first-aid facilities

The project has also violated rules laid out in the ADB Social Protection Strategy, which guarantees compliance with core labor standards and minimum legal protections. The Social Protection Strategy also requires all ADB-funded projects to have a ground-level grievance mechanism, however, this project never had such a mechanism.

A complaint was also filed to the ADB Accountability Mechanism Office of the Special Project Facilitator last May 30, 2019, by the affected workers regarding this project.

We would like to request your office to look into this matter and address the issues most especially the unpaid back wages of the affected workers as the IL&FS is currently inaccessible.

We hope that you can fulfill ADB’s vision of improving the quality of life of the people in Asia and the pacific by addressing this problem.

We look forward to your response.


NGO Forum on ADB

Supported by:

Aksi Ekologi dan Emansipasi Rakyat (AEER), Indonesia

Aksi!, Indonesia

Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development

Associated Labor Unions (ALU), Philippines

Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED)

Bank Information Center, USA

Bangladesh Building and Wood Workers Federation (BBWWF)

BIC Europe

Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Bangladesh

Center of Bird Lovers, Armenia

Central Asia and Caucasus NGO Forum on ADB, Armenia

Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), Sri Lanka

Centre for Financial Accountability, India

Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia

Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), Bangladesh

Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM)

Community Empowerment and Social Justice (CEMSOJ) Foundation, Nepal

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) Construction & General Division, Australia

Construction Labourers Union, India

Environics Trust, India

Environmental Public Society, Armenia

Equitable Cambodia

Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), France

Focus on the Global South

Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines

Friends of the Earth Japan, Japan

Gender Action

Global Social Justice, Belgium

Globalization Monitor, Hong Kong

Hosiery Workers Unity Centre, India

Indian National Rural Labour Federation (INRLF)

Indian Oil Petronas Contractor Shramik Union, India

Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), India

Indigenous Perspectives, India

Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)

Initiative for Right View, Bangladesh

Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)

Korea Federation for Environmental Movements, South Korea

Lumiere Synergie pour le Developpement (LSD), Senegal

Nash Vek Public Foundation

National Building and Wood Workers Union, Sri Lanka

Oyu Tolgoi Watch, Mongolia

Pakistan Federation of Building and Wood Workers (PFBWW)

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Philippines

Programme on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR) International

Project Affected Peoples Association (PAPA), India

Public Interest Law Center - PILC - TCHAD, Chad

Rivers without Boundaries, Mongolia

SERBUK - Indonesian Federation of People Labour Unions

Shevaroys’ General Employees Union (SGEU), India

Sri Lanka Nature Group

Struggle Forum for Informal Sector Workers, India

The Oakland Institute, USA

The People's Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA), Indonesia

Union of Forestry Employees of Sarawak, Malaysia

Urgewald, Germany

We Women Sri Lanka

WomanHealth Philippines

Working Group on International Financial Institutions, India

Youth Group on Protection of Environment, Tajikistan

Sent via electronic mail and hard copy to the following:

  1. Pres. Takehiko Nakao - President, Asian Development Bank (ADB)ALL Executive Directors, ADB

  2. ALL Alternate Directors, ADB

  3. Board Compliance Review Committee (BCRC), ADB

  4. Marvin Taylor-Dormond, Director-General, Independent Evaluation Department, ADB

  5. Jennifer Francis, Principal Institutional Coordination Specialist, South Asia Operations Department, ADB

  6. Preety M. Bandhari, Director, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Division, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB

  7. Nessim J. Ahmad, Deputy Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Concurrently Chief Compliance Officer

  8. Dingding Tang, Chair, Compliance Review Panel, ADB

  9. Dr. Bambang Susantono, Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB

  10. Shixin Chen, Vice-President (Operations 1), ADB

  11. Hun Kim, Director-General, South Asia Regional Department, ADB

  12. Wendy Walker, Technical Advisor for the Social Development Thematic Group, ADB


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page