Date filed
21 August 2023
Countries of harm
Current status


On 21 August 2023, a complaint was filed with the US NCP alleging that Marriott International, Inc. has not and is not complying with the Guidelines through its franchise in Kathmandu, namely the Aloft Kathmandu Thamel. The complaint was filed by individuals representing two local community organisations: Campaign to Restore Archaeological Kamalpokhari of Thamel and another organisation anonymised due to security concerns.

Marriott is a multinational enterprise in the tourism and accommodation sector. The Aloft Kathmandu Thamel, located in Nepal’s Thamel tourist district, is a hotel within the Chhaya Center, a business complex constructed by Chhaya Devi Complex Pvt. Ltd. “Aloft” is a Marriott brand and occupies a substantial portion of the Center, generating significant revenue for the Complex. The complainants allege that Marriott is direct linked to negative impacts caused by the Complex. The Center’s construction has been tied to human rights violations against the indigenous Newar community, particularly the local Pradhan Newars of Thamel, as it was built on land linked to communal Guthi (trust) lands, traditionally owned by the Pradhans and used for religious and cultural purposes. This land was acquired by Complex in 2008. Legal disputes and protests have arisen over the legitimacy of this land conversion to private ownership, with ongoing court cases since 2014. Activists linked to the complainants have also faced threats and harassment due to their opposition to the Complex’s construction. 

Relevant OECD Guidelines


The complaint has not been published due to the US NCP’s confidentiality rules.

On 14 May 2024, UN experts expressed concern over reports of ongoing retaliations against human rights defenders because of their opposition to the development of the Chhaya Center complex in Nepal. The experts described retaliatory acts against defenders as “deplorable and unacceptable”. “The targeting of human rights defenders for the sole exercise of their right to freedom of opinion and expression violates international human rights norms.” The experts said they were dismayed by the heightened feeling of insecurity faced by human rights defenders, activists and locals, who are involved in advocating for the demolition of the Chhaya Center and the restoration of the pond and surrounding land.

“The involvement of U.S.-based company Marriott International has also amplified concerns among the experts. Marriott International is operating the five-star Aloft Kathmandu Thamel Hotel within the Chhaya Center, despite an ongoing legal dispute over land it sits on.

“We urge Marriott International to immediately suspend its involvement in the Chhaya Center until the Supreme Court reaches a final decision,” said the experts. They also called on Marriott international to use its leverage with the Chhaya Center to ensure non-retaliation against defenders and activists involved and respect of human rights, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.”

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