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18 Sep 2023


Cambodia: Dutch National Contact Point accepts complaint against Oikocredit allegedly contributing to severe adverse human rights impacts on micro-finance sector

"NGOs’ Complaint against Oikocredit Moves Forward with the Dutch National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines", 18 September 2023

The Netherlands’ National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct (Dutch NCP) has accepted and will proceed with a complaint alleging that Oikocredit, a global social investor based in the Netherlands, has contributed to severe adverse human rights impacts in Cambodia’s microfinance sector.

The complaint followed extensive public evidence of widespread and systematic human rights abuses in Cambodia’s microfinance sector, including reports of violations associated with the microloan providers that receive direct funding from Oikocredit…

The Dutch NCP determined in its Initial Assessment … that the complaint “merits further examination” after reviewing the allegations against the NCP’s admissibility criteria. The criteria include “whether the issue is material and substantiated, plausible and related to the [OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises]” and “whether there seems to be a link between the enterprise’s activities and the issue raised in the specific instance”…

The next phase of the NCP process will be a dialogue between parties, such as mediation or conciliation, which the Dutch NCP has offered to facilitate. The Dutch NCP will issue a public Final Statement on the case following the parties confidential attempt to reach an agreement…

“Serious human rights violations in Cambodia’s microfinance sector have been escalating for almost a decade while foreign investors have turned a blind eye,” said Naly Pilorge, outreach director at LICADHO…

“We are pleased to see the process is moving forward,” said Vuthy Eang, executive director of Equitable Cambodia. “It is time for Oikocredit and other ‘social impact’ investors to stop delaying and start taking concrete measures to remedy the harms they have contributed to.”