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14 Feb 2020

Women's Earth & Climate Action Network International (WECAN)

Indigenous women file OECD Specific Instance against Credit Suisse for rights violations regarding pipeline financing

The filing by Indigenous women, comes after an almost two year period of WECAN and DIP exchanges with Credit Suisse... Indigenous women have maintained good faith dialogue with Credit Suisse, however, due to a lack of action by Credit Suisse, they are lodging an OECD Specific Instance in hopes that it will act as a catalyst for action.

... Recently, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) and Credit Suisse concluded a mediation process via the OECD, which led to Credit Suisse incorporating the protection of Indigenous communities’ rights into its internal guidelines on project financing... The [filing organisations] welcome this partial victory, however... this outcome is not sufficient, because the Indigenous rights provision does not apply to corporate finance— the type of financing Credit Suisse uses to fund the firms who built and maintain the Dakota Access Pipeline.

... "The financial sector must listen to the movements of indigenous peoples, and guarantee that human rights and indigenous peoples rights to free, prior, and informed consent will be respected and protected throughout their supply chains, in all their business relationships irrespective of the type of finance or financial product the banks have provided.”  Michelle Cook, Dine' (Navajo) human rights lawyer, Founder of ‘Divest Invest Protect’ and Co-Director of the Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegations... 

... "In 2014 prior to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) our Tribal Council informed the company that wanted to build DAPL, that they would not and could not consent to the construction of this pipeline. The danger was too close and an oil spill would be disastrous for our eight communities on Standing Rock... During that time my four children and I witnessed firsthand the extreme and brutal human rights abuses... includ[ing]: private security contractors using attack dogs on unarmed people (including myself), being terrorized by low flying aircraft that circled our camps 24 hours a day, to shooting our horses and people by law enforcement... It is time to hold the decision makers, government officials and financial institutions ACCOUNTABLE." Wašté Wi Yellow Lodge-Young, Lakota/Dakota, Standing Rock Nation