China: Stakeholders raise concerns on Chinese overseas investments in submissions to Universal Periodic Review
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Author: Fermin Koop and Robert Soutar, Dialogo Chino
…Latin American civil society organizations filed three reports to be taken into consideration at China’s [Universal Periodic] review…One group of 21 NGOs from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, reviewed 18 projects managed by 15 Chinese business consortia, linked to mining, oil and hydropower. These were located in indigenous reserves or nominally protected areas…The report warned of a pattern of violations in all projects, including failing to adopt measures meeting China’s “extraterritorial obligations” to protect rights in host countries, according to their national laws…Another key report…filed by the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA)…concluded that, cumulatively, these projects violated the rights of 455 indigenous groups in the Amazon basin since they were carried out without their prior consent…
“The Chinese government and some companies have begun to recognise that enhancing responsible business makes financial sense,” said Lowell Chow, senior researcher and representative for East Asia at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. He added: “Disputes with workers and communities can delay operations and cost money.” Chow said the guidelines are a good first step but that there is much work to do in terms of implementation: “Chinese companies can grasp the opportunity to lead by example on responsible business through proactively engaging with host communities as early as possible.”
Wawa Wang, public finance policy officer at CEE Bank Watch, agrees that implementation of the guidelines is key. But she suggests this is only possible if companies and investors are more transparent. “One concrete step forward is to begin disclosing project-related social and environmental information as required by the guidelines." [We previously invited MMG to respond to allegations regarding Las Bambas.]
- Related stories: China: Stakeholders raise concerns on Chinese overseas investments in submissions to Universal Periodic Review
- Related in-depth areas: Chinese investment overseas
- Related companies: Corriente Resources (joint venture Tongling Nonferrous Metals & China Railway Construction Corporation) Ecuacorriente (part of Corriente Resources)
14. 大赦国际表示关切的是，中国法律法规没有提及《联合国工商企业与人权指导原则》，也不要求在国内或国外运营的中国公司遵守有关人权尽责调查要求。 联署材料 27 指出，中国法律的适用范围仅限于国内司法管辖范围，不能用于监管中国公司的境外业务。联署材料 27 敦促中国在关于对外投资和海外发展援助的新法律中加入保护国际人权标准的有关内容，并视需要修订关于所有权、公司治理和负责任的商业行为的补充性现有条例。关于中国公司在缅甸的业 务，缅甸促进透明度和问责联盟敦促中国在其开展商业活动的国家尊重人权，为此可开展涉及人权影响评估的尽职调查，并为那些受到中国企业活动不利影响的人提供有效的补救办法。
15. 联署材料 3 也强调，中国采矿公司，特别是参与厄瓜多尔米拉多(Mirador) 和圣卡洛斯－帕那萨(San Carlos Panantza)项目的中国采矿公司，采取了以非正规 手段购买土地的做法，如未经协商以非正规手段收购、任意申索采矿权、对没有 产权的家庭提起民事诉讼。在安全部队的支持下，这些公司通过此类做法共造成 42 户土著家庭被迫迁离和非自愿流离失所。
16. 联署材料 13 强调，国有中国国家石油公司通过其合作伙伴――玻利维亚 BGP 犯下了侵犯人权行为，表明他们未遵守有关保护土著人民人权的国际人权标准和源自协商进程及自由、事先和知情同意的协议，包括对土著社会和环境监测者进行骚扰和定罪。
- Related stories: 中国：第三次普遍定期审议利益攸关方报告提及对中国海外投资影响的关切
14. 大赦國際表示關切的是，中國法律法規沒有提及《聯合國工商企業與人權指導原則》，也不要求在國內或國外運營的中國公司遵守有關人權盡責調查要求。聯署材料27 指出，中國法律的適用範圍僅限於國內司法管轄範圍，不能用於監管中國公司的境外業務。聯署材料27 敦促中國在關於對外投資和海外發展援助的新法律中加入保護國際人權標準的有關內容，並視需要修訂關於所有權、公司治理和負責任的商業行為的補充性現有條例。關於中國公司在緬甸的業務，緬甸促進透明度和問責聯盟敦促中國在其開展商業活動的國家尊重人權，為此可開展涉及人權影響評估的盡職調查，並為那些受到中國企業活動不利影響的人提供有效的補救辦法。
15. 聯署材料3 也強調，中國採礦公司，特別是參與厄瓜多爾米拉多(Mirador) 和聖卡洛斯－帕那薩(San Carlos Panantza)項目的中國採礦公司，採取了以非正規手段購買土地的做法，如未經協商以非正規手段收購、任意申索採礦權、對沒有產權的家庭提起民事訴訟。在安全部隊的支持下，這些公司通過此類做法共造成42 戶土著家庭被迫遷離和非自願流離失所。
16. 聯署材料13 強調，國有中國國家石油公司通過其合作夥伴――玻利維亞BGP 犯下了侵犯人權行為，表明他們未遵守有關保護土著人民人權的國際人權標準和源自協商進程及自由、事先和知情同意的協議，包括對土著社會和環境監測者進行騷擾和定罪。
Author: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
...14. AI [Amnesty International] expressed concern that Chinese laws and regulations did not reference the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights nor place related human rights due diligence requirements on Chinese companies operating either domestically or overseas. JS28 noted that the scope of the Chinese law was limited to domestic jurisdiction and could not be used to regulate Chinese companies’ operations beyond China’s borders. JS28 urged China to incorporate protections for international human rights standards into new legislation addressing outbound investment and overseas development assistance...Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability urged China to respect human rights in countries where it maintains business activities, such as through conducting due diligence involving human rights impact assessments, and provide access to effective remedy for those who are negatively impacted by its businesses’ activities.
15. JS3 also emphasized that Chinese mining companies, particularly those involved in the Mirador and San Carlos Panantza projects in Ecuador had engaged in irregular land-acquisition practices, such as irregular purchase without consultation, arbitrary claims of mining rights and filing civil actions against families without property titles. Through such practices and with the support of the security forces, these companies had brought about forced eviction and involuntary displacement of a total of 42 indigenous families.
16. JS14 also highlighted the violations committed by state-owned China National Petroleum Company through their partner BGP Bolivia, which shows their non-compliance to the international human rights standards for the protection of the human rights of indigenous peoples and to agreements emanating from the process of consultation and free, prior and informed consent, including harassment and criminalization of indigenous social and environmental monitors...