Submission to AIIB on Oman's Duqm Port Commercial Terminal & Operational Zone Development Project
The AIIB’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) stipulates that, as part of its due diligence, the Bank is required to determine whether “all key potential environmental and social risks and impacts of the Project have been identified” and whether “effective measures to avoid, minimize, mitigate, offset or compensate for the adverse impacts are incorporated into the Project’s design and ESMP.” ...Environmental and Social Standard 1 (ESS 1) requires the Client to “assess labor and working conditions of project workers” and “ensure that, in connection with the Project, there is no work or service not voluntarily performed that is exacted from an individual under threat of force or penalty (including any kind of forced or compulsory labor, such as indentured labor, bonded labor or similar labor-contracting arrangements, or labor by trafficked persons).”
As we explain in more detail below, in our view, the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment should be revised to identify and address the social risks attached to the employment of migrant construction labor on the Project...[And] address the risk of use of forced labor in a manner that is consistent with international guidelines for construction projects in the Gulf region.
In addition, the AIIB should ensure that the Client conducts due diligence assessments of the private entities executing the construction contract, with particular attention to the companies’ records on labor and their operations in the Gulf region. MSF Engenharia operates in the UAE and is involved in three infrastructure projects in Qatar, a country that is infamous for the worst forms of the kafala system and abuses of migrant construction workers. Serka Taahhüt /Adali Holdings has been involved in construction and service projects throughout the MENA region. Similar due diligence also is necessary with regard to any labor brokers used in the course of the project, since many abuses of migrant workers in the Gulf involve third-party brokers.