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25 May 2020

USA: Indigenous women file OECD Specific Instance against Credit Suisse for rights violations regarding pipeline financing; Credit Suisse responds

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On January 30, 2020, Divest Invest ProtectWomen’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, and Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program at the University of Arizona filed an OECD Guidelines complaint with the US National Contact Point regarding Credit Suisse and adverse impacts to Indigenous peoples and the environment through the bank's finance to firms that built the Dakota Access Pipeline and Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The complaint highlights violations of indigenous peoples' right to free, prior, and informed consent and environmental harms through continued finance to fossil fuel companies.

According to one of the Indigenous women who filed the complaint, Michelle Cook, a Dine' (Navajo) human rights lawyer, Founder of ‘Divest Invest Protect’ and Co-Director of the Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegations, "The OECD Specific Instance prepared and filed by indigenous women will bring much-needed attention to the structural failures of the financial industry to adhere and align with indigenous people’s human rights.  We are confident that our filing and engagement will expose the dangerous loopholes that allow banks and businesses to act with impunity over our cultural survival, climate, and futures. 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.” 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Credit Suisse to respond; the bank's response is included below.

More information about the Dakota Access Pipeline project is available here.

Company Responses

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