On 23 June 2016, the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, Defenders for Medical Impartiality, and the Arabian Rights Watch Association filed a complaint with the US NCP against the Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin Corporation for their alleged breaches of the OECD Guidelines. The companies products were alleged to have contributed to human rights violations in Yemen through their use by the government of Saudi Arabia between March 2015 and June 2016.
The complainants stated that the companies did not have a relevant human rights policy, did not carry out human rights due diligence in the sale of their products and failed to take appropriate steps to ensure that their products did not cause or contribute to human rights abuses. As such, the complainants requested that the US NCP help identify whether the companies caused or contributed to adverse human rights impacts, make recommendations to the companies to uphold the Guidelines and for the companies to publish a human rights policy that includes human rights due diligence.
After speaking with the parties involved in the compliant and consulting with relevant US government experts, the US NCP decided to not offer mediation, noting that the specific instance concerned the conduct of particular States [specifically Saudi Arabia and the United States], and would have entailed an examination of state conduct, which would not serve to advance the Guidelines. The US NCP stated that the compliant was intertwined with the practices of Saudi Arabia and the United States, as arms sales must meet criteria outlined in the Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) policy through the FMS program and Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), which NCPs are not designed to assess.
The US NCP issued a Final Statement on 18 November 2016 with no determination as to whether the Guidelines were violated. However, the US NCP did offer several recommendations including:
Per the Guidelines, companies in every sector should carry out human rights due diligence and avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts.
Companies should consider incorporating the Guidelines in to their existing public human rights commitments. The Guidelines recommend that enterprises express their commitment to respect human rights through a statement of policy that is approved at the most senior level of an enterprise and is publicly available.
The US government regularly engages with civil society and other stakeholders regarding any concerns with US policy, including on the issues raised in the Specific Instance, and is available to discuss the issues further with the submitters.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Chapter IV
- Chapter IV Paragraph 1
- Chapter IV Paragraph 2
- Chapter IV Paragraph 3
- Chapter IV Paragraph 4
- Chapter IV Paragraph 5
No mediation was offered, but the US NCP issued a Final Statement on 18 November 2016 with several general recommendations offered.
- Company in violation
- Other companies involved
- Affected people
- Date rejected / concluded
- 18 November 2016