·Global Apartheid refers to a system by which mostly white wealthy elites exploit and maintain control over poor people, predominately people of color, throughout the world. Similar to the former apartheid government in South Africa, it follows the legacies of colonialism, slavery, and genocide of indigenous peoples.
·The IMF and World Bank are controlled by wealthy, mainly Northern countries. The decision-making process at the IMF and World Bank is dominated by wealthy countries - many of the very same countries which formerly colonized large parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This is because voting power is assigned through a one-dollar one-vote system, in which the voting power of a country is proportional to the size of its financial contribution to the Bank and IMF. The Group of 7 (G-7) countries of U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy alone control about 50% of the decision-making power in the IMF and World Bank, and the U.S., with more than 17% of the vote, has effective veto power over some key decisions that require a supermajority of 85%. The vast majority of the world's people are people of color, living in the Global South; yet, they have a very limited voice in these supposedly global multilateral institutions which affect their lives so profoundly.
·The World Bank and IMF push policies on the Global South without any accountability. The IMF and World Bank use the debt of impoverished countries to impose all sorts of conditions, effectively micromanaging their economies. These conditions corrupt political systems and corrode self-determination, making governments accountable to foreign creditors rather than their own people. For example, when the parliament of Ghana decided to protect small farmers by imposing import duties on chickens and rice, the IMF retaliated by threatening Ghana's credit rating. They bullied the government to change its policy without regard to popular will in Ghana. When it comes to key economic policy issues, the countries of the South remain colonized!
·IMF and World Bank policies impoverish - and kill - people in the Global South. The IMF and World Bank consistently impose policies such as "labor market flexibility," trade liberalization, privatization, user fees, and budget caps on social services. These policies impoverish people in the global South by taking away their livelihoods while at the same time pricing essential services such as water and health care out of their reach, and crippling the ability of governments to provide those services. These policies cost lives, particularly in the context of serious public health crises, including the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, which is threatening the future of an entire continent. By imposing user fees for health care on communities with widespread poverty and unemployment, these policies make the deaths of poor people from treatable diseases inevitable. The people who are being made poor, and who are dying, are people of color from the global South. And the people who get to make decisions that cost other people's lives in the name of economic efficiency (which usually means more profits for people like themselves), are wealthy, mainly white, people from Northern countries.
·World Bank projects disproportionately hurt indigenous peoples. The World Bank pours billions into environmentally destructive projects such as large dams, oil and gas, mining, and logging, which in a large number of cases affect indigenous communities. Indigenous peoples are displaced from their homes, farmlands, and traditional fisheries - which they have used for centuries - to make room for these projects. They almost never receive adequate compensation, and end up significantly poorer than before. Sometimes, as happened to the Maya people displaced by the Chixoy dam in Guatemala, they are subject to massacre or other violent repression if they try to resist.
·IMF and World Bank policies displace people and force them to migrate. People whose livelihoods are destroyed by the policies of the World Bank and IMF often have no choice but to migrate to wealthy Northern countries in search of work. The racist immigration systems of Northern countries are highly unlikely to give them travel documents, so they make the journey without documents, sometimes at great risk to their lives. Once in the North, undocumented immigrants usually work the lowest paying jobs, with long hours, hazardous working conditions, and no legal protections. Employers take advantage of their undocumented status to exploit them, and they remain in perpetual fear of discovery and deportation - a feeling reinforced by periodic immigration raids, which also serve to ensure that the workers are afraid to organize. Whether Latino immigrants in the US, or African immigrants in Europe, or Filipino immigrants in Japan, undocumented immigrants face the same kinds of oppression everywhere.