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Book documents indigenous peoples' experience with access to remedy for corporate abuses

The book includes an overview of the theoretical and legal framework pertaining to indigenous peoples' access to remedy, followed by comparative case studies from Latin America, Africa and Asia.  It concludes with a series of concrete recommendations, which are primarily targeted at States and companies. The case studies are based on experiences of indigenous peoples from Colombia, Peru, India, Cambodia, Malaysia, Tanzania and Kenya in attempting to seek access to remedy in the context of business related impacts on their human rights.

It is edited by Dr Cathal M. Doyle of Middlesex University Business School and contains a foreword by Pavel Sulyandziga, member of the UN Working Group on business & human rights.

The book refers to allegations linked to the following companies.  Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies to respond if a previous response by the company was not available.  All companies are welcome to provide further comments:

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Company response
1 May 2012

Sarawak Energy response re alleged displacement of indigenous communities by Baram mega dam

Author: Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, Chief Executive Officer, Sarawak Energy Berhad

I absolutely reject the latest personal attacks outlined in Bruno Manser Fund’s (BMF) press release...Sarawak Energy...ha[s] committed to genuine, transparent engagement with communities likely to be affected by future hydropower developments including Baram...There is no evidence that anonymous quotes contained in the BMF release are in anyway indicative of the views of the broader community in Baram. Indeed, Sarawak Energy’s own process of community engagement has found that most of the people in communities potentially affected by the Baram Dam are either open minded or positively disposed to the development.

Read the full post here

Company response
2 December 2013

Response from Sarawak Energy

Author: Haniza A. Hamid, Sarawak Energy

…[T]here is no ‘blockade’ at the Murum HEP [Hydroelectric Project]...[A]ll 353 families affected...have been relocated to the new resettlement villages…The RAP [Resettlement Action Plan] provides the affected community a level of compensation in terms of land, infrastructure and cash support that is significantly greater than any similar scheme…Sarawak Energy has also consulted with the indigenous population from Murum…In 2011, SEB became one of the first hydropower developers in the world to voluntarily adopt, and incorporate within its project development model, the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol…

Read the full post here

Company response
14 January 2014

Response by Pluspetrol: Companies to go ahead with gas exploration project despite UN warnings over the threats posed to the vulnerable indigenous populations.

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Company response
26 August 2014

Mahan Coal Limited's response

Author: Ramakant Tiwari, Mahan Coal Limited

It has been noticed that some persons and institutions having vested interests are publishing misguiding and misleading statements in relation to Mahan Coal Limited, and are thereby provoking villagers and other people under the pretext of environment and tribal rights...We strongly condemn continuous misrepresentation of facts by some persons and institutions having vested interests; and misguiding and misleading the villagers and general public by them. Such actions not only delay the Project but also prevent the villagers from getting their legitimate benefits and compensation. Further, it also stalls the economic development of the country and hampers public purpose. Mahan Coal Limited remains committed to sustainable development of Mahan coal block, in a safe and socially responsible manner. 

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Company response
+ Español - Hide
9 September 2014

Respuesta de Cerrejón

Author: Cerrejón

"Declaración de Cerrejón" - 9 de septiembre de 2014

…Como es de público conocimiento, Cerrejón ha sido examinada por auditores, analistas, expertos, y diferentes iniciativas de diversos grupos de interés. En todos los casos, su operación ha sido destacada como una operación líder en la aplicación de los más altos estándares internacionales y como una operación responsable con las comunidades, sus trabajadores, los contratistas y el medio ambiente...Queremos expresar nuestra preocupación por las prácticas inadecuadas que se evidenciaron en el denominado Juicio a Cerrejón, realizado a comienzos de agosto. Dicho encuentro se desarrolló sin la posibilidad de defensa y de manera parcializada se aceptaron acusaciones sin pruebas o basadas en generalizaciones, y se inculpó a Cerrejón de ser el causante de todos los males que padece La Guajira. Estas prácticas cuestionan la legitimidad, objetividad y validez de este tipo de juicios. Respetamos y valoramos la diferencia y la oposición a la minería, pero las posiciones no pueden formarse ni justificarse a partir de juicios sesgados…Nos vemos en la obligación de rechazar graves acusaciones que se presentaron durante el evento…[pues] son infundadas, nunca se han escuchado en Colombia y es imposible que sucedan en una empresa que actúa de manera transparente y basada en principios éticos y políticas comprometidas con los mismos.

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Company response
8 October 2014

[PDF] Cerrejón response

Author: Cerrejón coal

Cerrejón welcomes all citizen participation exercises and acknowledges the benefits that public and objective impact assessment bring to responsible mining. As it’s widely known, Cerrejón’s performance has been evaluated by multiple auditors, analysts, experts and several initiatives from different stakeholders. In every case, our operation has been recognized as a leader in the implementation of the highest international standards as well as a responsible company towards community, employees, contractors and the environment.

Cerrejon response - Agua Luna site Oct 3 2014

Cerrejon observations on Indepaz' Press Release

Cerrejon response to NGOs

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Company response
28 April 2015

Dragon Capital Group & Vietnamese Enterprise Investments response

The allegations concerning IFC’s interest in Dragon Capital relate to investments formerly made by Dragon-managed funds in Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), a publicly-listed Vietnamese company with investments in Cambodia and Laos. We note that the funds in question did not hold any investments in HAGL as at the date of the report, and do not hold any investments in HAGL at the present time. We also note that Oxfam did not contact Dragon Capital prior to release of the report and so did not seek to verify the statements as to alleged current investments in HAGL.

The position is the same for Vietnamese Enterprise Investments (VEIL).

Company response
12 May 2015

Essar response

Author: Essar Group

We would like to inform you that the Mahan Coal Block was allotted to an equal joint venture between Essar Power and Hindalco. No mining has taken place at the block. Moreover, as per Supreme Court’s order in 2014, the allocation of Mahan block, along with over 200 other, has been cancelled. The block is also not listed for any auction. So there is no question of any displacement, loss of livelihood etc. to indigenous people.

Company response
12 May 2015

[PDF] SABMiller reponse on behalf of Tanzania Breweries

Author: SABMiller

TBL acquired Loliondo farm legally and in strict accordance with the due process. The survey and mapping of the farm was approved by the Village Council, Ngorongoro Municipality and finally the Ministry for Lands. The sale of the farm by TBL to Tanzania Conservation Limited was entirely transparent. TBL sold the farm in December, 2006 and is therefore not involved in the current dispute, but have been made aware of the concerns of local populations.

Read the full post here

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Company response
12 May 2015

Tanzania Conservation Limited response

Author: Tanzania Conservation Limited

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Thomson Safaris to respond to the book, Indigenous Peoples' Experiences with Access to Remedy - Case Studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America.  In response, we received the response below & attached by Tanzania Conservation Limited.]

You asked us to respond to the concerns raised in this book... We are happy to respond as follows –
...[At] the time TBL sought land for Barley...Sukenya was a sub-village under the Soit Sambu Village...[The] Soit Sambu Village Council was the authority that governed Sukenya... Sukenya Sub-Village had 3 seats on the council, but the huge majority of the seats were taken by Soit Sambu Village Councillors... When TBL came seeking land...the Soit Sambu Village Council chose to use Laitayok land for TBL rather than to use Purko land...Naturally the Laitayok were not happy about this outcome and went to court claiming the process was not legal.... They lost because the Soit Sambu Council followed procedure... The Laitayok had to accept the situation... Tanzania is a country governed by laws and a court system.  While Tanzania invites foreign investment, the process has rules and regulations that are required to be followed.  There are repeated mentions of “alleged” and “allegations of” human rights abuses.  This is hearsay.  

Sukenya Village is now a Village in its own right, it has its own council and can control its future.  The Laitayok Clan is happy to have tourism in its village...and seek other investors.  To date our Community Tourism Project has had great success and has managed to complete the following list of buildings that have all been handed over to community, all funded with donations from tourism.  By far the longest list of completed buildings of any NGO or other entity working in the region, something we are very proud of.  These projects were requested by community. [list of schools and other community buildings follows]

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