Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2016

Publication Citation

23 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 349 (2016)


This Note addresses the effects of hydropower development projects on displaced persons globally. This Note recognizes that the increasing global energy demand puts great strain on nations to provide their people with electricity, but it also suggests that sustainable energy development projects can be carried out in a way that is fair to the indigenous populations surrounding hydropower dams. The current global trend in involuntary displacement involves ignoring certain groups of affected persons while undercompensating directly displaced persons, leading to homelessness, social stigmatization, and extreme poverty for millions of people worldwide. Thus far, there has been no sufficient global solution to this displacement problem, as current solutions do not focus on rehabilitating the communities that lose everything for the construction of these projects. This Note suggests that individual nations must take responsibility for the displacement of indigenous populations in building hydropower development projects for the benefit of the nation, and an international actor, such as the World Bank, must use its resources and discretionary project funding to protect global human rights during the development of hydropower projects.