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UK Export Finance has taken policy decisions without proper human rights impact assessment, Amnesty Intl. report

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Article
1 June 2013

[PDF] A History of Neglect. UK Export Finance and Human rights

Author: Amnesty International UK

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited UK Export Finance (UKEF) to respond. UKEF's response is provided below] [The] eagerness [of UKEF] to help secure new overseas contracts for British companies often comes at the expense of human rights...UKEF does not conduct any human rights or environmental screening of support worth less than...£10m....[A]round £2.3 billion of ‘third world debt’ is owed to UKEF. This briefing examines the approach of UKEF to addressing the human rights context of its activities. Its findings indicate deficits in policy, transparency and accountability that together fall short of what would be required to ensure UKEF does not support projects or transactions that might contribute to human rights abuses. [refers to Balfour Beatty, Kier, Stirling, Kvaerner Boving, and ABB Generatiion, BP, Shell, Barclays, RBS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Standard Chartered, Alvis Vehicles (part of BAE Systems)]

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Article
30 July 2013

[PDF] Amnesty Intl. UK rejoinder to UK Export Finance (UKEF) response

Author: Amnesty International UK

[UK Export Finance (UKEF)]...expresses disappointment that...[it] was not given the opportunity to comment on our briefing on the human rights failings of UKEF pre-publication. We have been engaging with UKEF and...the Minister for Trade and Investment, for some time on the issues raised in our report and their stock response is invariably the same - that UKEF does not need to address the human rights impacts of its activities except when required by the OECD agreement to which it adheres, the Common Approaches...Isn't it time UKEF changed its tune and treated each transaction and project it is asked to support on its merits? This would require an assessment of potential negative human rights impacts and development of mitigating action, regardless of whether it conforms with the very weak OECD Common Approaches standard for export credit agencies.

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