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27 Sep 2021

Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)

Complaint accepted against Norwegian company Telenor for its actions in Myanmar

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27 September 2021

A complaint filed by 474 Myanmar-based civil society organisations against Telenor Group in July 2021 has been declared material and substantiated by the Norwegian National Contact Point (NCP) for Responsible Business Conduct. Telenor, which is for 53% owned by the Norwegian government, is putting at risk the security and human rights of the 18.2 million mobile subscribers and pro-democracy activists in Myanmar as it rushes to sell its Myanmar operations to the Lebanese M1 Group, which is infamous for its business activities in countries with violent totalitarian and extremist regimes.


[...] The NCP has offered to mediate between the company and the civil society organisations. Telenor is not legally bound to accept the NCP’s offer of mediation, but if Telenor refuses mediation, or if the mediation fails to result in an agreement between the parties, the NCP can itself conduct an investigation to determine whether Telenor acted in accordance with the OECD Guidelines and make a public statement with its findings. In countries like the Netherlands and Canada, companies that are found to have acted in breach of the OECD Guidelines risk losing various forms of state support such as export credit insurance, innovation subsidies, public procurement contracts and international trade support.