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EC and IDI vs. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Case overview

Date filed 6 October 2014
Current status Pending
Issue ANZ’s role in displacing & dispossessing Cambodian families
Summary of the case The complaint was filed on behalf of 681 families who were forcibly displaced and dispossessed of their land, productive resources and in some cases houses, to make way for a Phnom Penh Sugar Co. Ltd. (PPS) sugar plantation and refinery that was partially financed by ANZ. In addition to forced evictions, military-backed land seizures and destruction of crops and property, PPS also allegedly participated in arbitrary arrests and intimidation of villagers, and the widespread use of child labour and dangerous working conditions that have resulted in the death of several workers. Although these abuses occurred between 2010 and 2011, the affected households remain either uncompensated or undercompensated for their losses.

The complaint alleges ANZ breached the OECD Guidelines by contributing to these abuses through their actions and omissions, and failing to take reasonable measures to prevent or remedy them. The complainants have raised the problems associated with the PPS loan with ANZ on numerous occasions since becoming aware of ANZs role. The case also received much public attention prior to ANZs loan decision. Despite this controversy, ANZ proceeded with the loan to PPS.

Even though ANZ reportedly ended the financial relationship with PPS in 2014, the complainants believe that ANZ can and should divest itself of the profits that it earned unjustly from the PPS. EC and IDI argue in the complaint that ANZ contributed directly to PPS illegal actions and profited from those actions, so it has an ongoing responsibility to provide reparations to those affected. The complainants furthermore urge the NCP to recommend that ANZ develop a corporate-level human rights compliant policy on involuntary land acquisition and resettlement, including relevant due diligence procedures, in order to address other similar problems in its portfolio and to ensure that
ANZ does not continue to contribute to such human rights violations elsewhere.
Developments/Outcome The Australian NCP has accepted the case and is trying to bring the parties together for mediation.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Forced evictions and resettlement, Human rights

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Australia
NCP address C/- The Treasury ACT 2600 Canberra, Australia
NCP website http://www.ausncp.gov.au/
Other NCPs involved

Complainants

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible ANZ Bank
Company address 105 Gavan St.
3741 Bright
New Zealand
Company website
Company in violation ANZ Bank
Country of operations Cambodia
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Some developments are only visible to logged in users.
Date Actor Action Description Document
1 November 2015 National Contact Point Australia accept The NCP is trying to bring the parties together for mediation  
6 October 2014 Equitable Cambodia file Complaint filed with the Australian NCP download pdf (340Kb)  

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