Report by ECA Watch says projects supported by export credit agencies "often associated with human rights abuses"

ECA Watch released a report, "Export Credit and Human Rights: Failure to Protect", in December 2014.  Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the following principal companies named in the report to respond:

  • Vale - response below
  • Van Oord - response below

We also invited the following export credit agencies to respond:

  • Atradius - response below
  • Export Development Canada - response below

Isagen also responded to the concerns raised in the report (only available in Spanish).

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Company response
11 January 2015

Atradius response

Author: Atradius

The Dutch government follows a balanced export policy in which Dutch export is promoted and responsible business conduct is stimulated. A thorough ex-ante due diligence process is in place ensuring that, export transactions and foreign investments are only supported if they are not associated in any way with bribery or the violation of core labour standards and have no unacceptable environmental or social impacts. In addition, we would like to emphasize that the export credit facility of the Dutch government is an insurance instrument to support Dutch export, and in that respect, different from existing development aid instruments.As an Export Credit Agency it is our policy to execute environmental & social due diligence according to the OECD Common Approaches for officially supported export credits. Prior to support we have performed an adequate due diligence for the Suape transactions in order to seek assurance by weighing  the positive, neutral and negative impacts  in relation to any relevant environmental and social risks associated with the project. We also took our responsibility in engaging with NGO Both Ends during and after the due diligence process for the project.For more information our CSR policy & our environmental & social due diligence process please see our website: http://www.atradiusdutchstatebusiness.nl/dsben/cr/index.html

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Company response
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11 January 2015

[PDF] Resposta da Vale

Author: Vale

...Em resposta às alegações contidas no relatório da ECA Watch, “Export Credits & Human Rights: Failure to Protect”..:1) Ação Civil Pública referente à duplicação da Estrada de Ferro Carajás...Resposta Vale...o licenciamento ambiental da duplicação da Estrada de Ferro Carajás (EFC) foi respaldado nos padrões legais de âmbito federal, estadual e municipais...o diálogo constante e transparente estabelecido entre a Vale e as comunidades tradicionais ao longo da EFC.. atendem...[à]...Convenção nº 169 da OIT...2) Ação Civil Pública Monge Belo...Resposta Vale...em 23/10/2014, a Vale apresentou ao Juízo sua resposta...demonstrando que atendeu aos pontos questionados...3) Acusações de Ex-Empregado...Resposta Vale A Vale não reconhece e refuta as alegações do ex-empregado. As autoridades competentes estão investigando o assunto e algumas investigações já foram arquivadas...4) Gestão Ambiental no Sudeste do Pará e no Projeto S11D…Resposta Vale A Vale protege ou colabora com a proteção de uma área 3,5 vezes maior do que a ocupada por suas operações globais...5) Segurança na Estrada de Ferro Carajás...Resposta Vale...a...EFC...apresenta desempenho em segurança superior à média brasileira...a EFC mantém processos estruturados de manutenção em via permanente e material rodante...[A empresa realiza]...inspeções e ações periódicas com foco na segurança da população que reside próximo à ferrovia...

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Company response
11 January 2015

[PDF] Vale’s Response

Author: Vale

…[Response to allegations in report: “Export Credit Agencies & Human Rights: Failure to Protect", by Halifax Initiative, Both Ends, CounterCurrent , Fórum Suape and Ríos Vivos]...1) Ação Civil Pública referente à duplicação da Estrada de Ferro Carajás...Vale’s response…the environmental license process concerning the duplication of EFC Railroad was based in legal standards of federal, state and municipal range…the constant and transparent dialog established between Vale and the traditional communities located along EFC...fulfill the essential purpose intended by the OIT Convention nº 169…2) Ação Civil Pública Monge Belo...Vale’s response…In 23/10/2014, Vale presented at court its answer to the judicial order…the company demonstrated the due fulfillment of the questioned points...3) Acusações de Ex-Empregado…Vale’s response Vale does not recognize and refute the allegations of the former employee. The competent authorities are investigating the matter and some investigations were already dismissed…4) Gestão Ambiental no Sudeste do Pará e no Projeto S11D...Vale´s response Vale protects or helps to protect an area 3.5 times larger than that occupied by its global operations...5) Segurança na Estrada de Ferro Carajás…Vale´s response… the Carajás railroad…has superior safety performance than the Brazilian average…the Carajás Railway has developed a structured maintenance process for its tracks and rolling stock…[The company conducts]…periodic actions focused on the safety of the people living near the railway…

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Company response
23 December 2014

Response to the report “Export Credit and Human Rights: Failure to Protect”

Author: Van Oord

Van Oord’s preparation and execution of projects always take place in the context of international, national, regional and local legislation and Van Oord’s internal procedures. Procedures for the Suape projects have been in line with the (tender) policy of Brazilian government and port authorities, and Van Oord’s QHSE system and CSR policy. During the process for export credit insurance application in 2011 and 2012, Atradius DSB conducted a thorough investigation for which Van Oord provided all required documentation... The execution of the projects has been fully in line with the implementation plan..., environmental licenses and permits for working methods. Local stakeholders have been engaged by means of, for instance, a stakeholder meeting.

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