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12 Dec 2022


Cambodia: Three NGOs file complaint to OECD National Contact Point against Dutch investor Oikocredit over alleged human rights abuses; investor responds

"Human Rights NGOs File Complaint against Oikocredit over Cambodian MFI Investments", 12 December 2022

Three NGOs today filed a complaint to the Dutch government’s National Contact Point for Responsible Business Conduct accusing Oikocredit, a global social investor based in the Netherlands, of failing to conduct proper due diligence on its investments in Cambodia’s microfinance sector …, despite evidence of harms directly linked to those investments…

Oikocredit’s investments have contributed to a debt-driven human rights crisis in Cambodia, leading to coerced land sales, food insecurity, and loss of livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of borrowers…

The three NGOs filing the complaint - two Cambodia-based human rights groups, the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) and Equitable Cambodia (EC), as well as FIAN Germany - have all publicly reported on widespread and systematic human rights abuses in Cambodia’s microfinance sector in recent years, including by MFIs that receive direct funding from Oikocredit.

“Oikocredit claims to be a social investor, but their investments in Cambodia have caused irreparable harm to borrowers here,” said Naly Pilorge, outreach director at LICADHO. “Our hope is that this complaint will compel Oikocredit, as well as other so-called ‘social’ or ‘impact’ investors who have fueled this human rights crisis, to fix the harms they’ve contributed to and provide real relief for Cambodian borrowers.”

… The OECD complaint comes as several of the MFIs funded by Oikocredit are also the subject of an ongoing complaint to the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of the International Finance Corporation. That CAO complaint, filed by LICADHO and EC on behalf of affected borrowers …, entered the compliance stage