Formula One commits to human rights due diligence in Bahrain following NGO complaint to UK OECD Natl. Contact Point
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Author: Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain
"'ADHRB, Formula One Reach Agreement on Human Rights Framework for Bahrain", 10 Apr 2015
Following Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain’s (ADHRB) successful mediation of a complaint to the United Kingdom National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises—concerning Formula One Management’s lack of due diligence considerations regarding possible human rights impact in Bahrain—Formula One has committed itself to respecting human rights in Bahrain and other countries in which it conducts business...Included in this commitment is a promise to develop and implement a due diligence policy in which Formula One analyzes and takes steps to mitigate any human rights impact that its activities may have on a host country, including on the human rights situation in Bahrain. The new policy represents a significant first step in addressing human rights abuses occurring in Bahrain during the annual Formula One race...
Author: Joe Sandler Clarke, Guardian (UK)
In a victory for campaigners, the organisation behind Formula One racing has done a 180-degree policy reversal in the runup to the contentious Bahrain Grand Prix and agreed to formulate a human rights policy. F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has previously been reluctant to be drawn on human rights issues, saying in 2013: “We don’t go anywhere to judge how a country is run. I keep asking people, ‘What human rights?’ – I don’t know what they are. The rights are that people who live in the country abide by the laws of the country, whatever they are.” The change of heart comes after the UK government agreed to investigate a complaint from international human rights organisations who argued that between 2012-14 the Bahrain Grand Prix led to increased human rights abuses, and helped to “present an international image of Bahrain at odds with a reality of ongoing human rights abuses”.