The complaint questions the human rights compatibility of organising the Formula One (F1) Grand Prix with a global audience in Bahrain, a country widely criticised for its human rights violations. The complaint relates to the F1 Bahrain races in 2012-2014 organised by private UK companies in the midst of on-going human rights violations and in circumstances in which the event itself would give rise to further human rights violations.
The complaint outlines that in 2011 the Bahraini government cancelled the scheduled F1 Grand Prix, citing the instability in the country accompanying the governments crackdown of pro-democracy protests. In 2012 and 2013, however, the Grand Prix returned, but the crackdown remained unabated, resulting in the death of a protester and injuries to hundreds, as well as the arbitrary detention and torture of hundreds more.
The complaint alleges that by failing to suspend the F1 Grand Prix race, the companies involved in the organisation have, inadvertently or otherwise, contributed to further human rights violations in Bahrain and the continuation of impunity for past violations. The complaint contends that the companies have not conducted substantial due diligence and have not mitigated the human rights impacts linked to their operations in Bahrain. The complainant aims to engage the companies involved in a mediated dialogue towards a solution that will not only serve their own corporate
interests, but also respect the human rights of the people of Bahrain.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Chapter II
- Chapter II Paragraph A10
- Chapter II Paragraph A11
- Chapter II Paragraph A12
- Chapter II Paragraph A7
- Chapter IV
- Chapter IV Paragraph 2
- Chapter IV Paragraph 3
- Chapter IV Paragraph 4
- Chapter IV Paragraph 5
In October 2014, the UK NCP determined that the issues of a lack of meaningful stakeholder engagement and proper due diligence by Formula One World Championship Ltd. and Formula One Management Ltd. merited further review.
The NCP decided not to further pursue these issues in relation to Delta 3 UK ltd. and Beta D3 Ltd. on the basis that these companies are not operational companies. The NCP furthermore rejected allegations referring to broad obligations to respect human rights and avoiding or addressing adverse impacts. After the mediation, which was organized by the NCP, Formula One has publicly committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights in all of its operations. Included in this commitment is a promise to develop and implement a due diligence policy in which Formula One analyzes and takes steps to mitigate any human rights impact that its activities may have on a host country, including on the human rights situation in Bahrain.