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Challenge Consortium response to reports of worker injuries, deaths in Suez canal construction

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited companies in the Challenge Consortium to respond to this article.  The consortium members are National Marine Dredging Company, Boskalis, Van Oord, and Jan de Nul.  The consortium sent the following response:

"You have requested each of the four members of the Challenge Consortium to respond to a recent publication in the Egyptian Streets ("Worker Deaths Reveal Ugly Side of Suez Canal Expansion", 10 August 2015). The dredging activities of lot 2 through 5, the dredging of a new 35 km parallel canal, was executed by the Challenge Consortium. It is therefore appropriate that the consortium provides a response, instead of the individual companies.

The consortium does not recognize itself in the allegations and insinuations made. We strongly dismiss any implication that we did not respect the human rights of the workers employed by the challenge consortium. The working and housing conditions on the project were consistent with international standards and each of the consortium members has stringent safety programs that meet the high standards of their international client base. The construction of the parallel canal was completed ahead of the opening on 6 August and the consortium is therefore not involved in any further construction or development activities of the Suez canal."

This is a response from the following companies: Van Oord