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1 Feb 2022

Digging Deeper: What investors have to say about allegations faced by the projects they fund

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Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Extractives projects, such as mines and oil fields, are one of the main sources of human rights abuses in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with hazardous working conditions, labour rights abuses, effects on the health of local communities, and severe environmental impacts.

In June 2021, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre released Digging in the Shadows, an analysis of the human rights policies and performance of the largest extractives projects in Armenia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. The report found serious allegations around violence and killings, labour rights violations, environmental destruction, displacement, and poisoning from toxic emissions.

To learn more, visit our page on Western investment in rights-violating projects.

allegations for projects with western investment - digging in the shadows

Investor Outreach

In late November 2021, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre reached out to Western investors and shareholders with current investments in projects with particularly serious human rights allegations. We also narrowed the list to exclude intermediary companies , and did not contact investors who exclusively invested in projects where we did not find significant human rights allegations.

As part of this project, we reached out to:

Here, you can find the letters we sent each of these investors outlining human rights allegations related to the projects they fund. We further engaged with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development via video conferencing. As part of this story, you can view each investor's response.

Company Responses

Intesa Sanpaolo View Response
Banca Comercială Română (BCR) View Response
Black Sea Trade and Development Bank View Response
Chevron View Response
Citigroup View Response
Crédit Agricole View Response
Deutsche Bank

No Response

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) View Response
HSBC

No Response

JPMorgan Chase

No Response

Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB Group) View Response
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) View Response
Société Générale View Response
Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) View Response
Unicredito Italiano (now Unicredit) View Response
ExxonMobil View Response
TotalEnergies (formerly Total) View Response

Timeline