Date filed
19 January 2021
Countries of harm
Current status
Under review


On 19 January 2021, the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) filed specific instances against five companies affiliated with the Cerrejón coal mine in northern Colombia with the NCPs of Ireland, the UK, Australia, and Switzerland. The complaints were supported by a collection of regional and international NGOs (Christian Aid, CAJAR, CINEP/PPP, AIDA, ASK, and ABColombia).

The complaints allege that the Cerrejón mine has caused adverse human rights impacts by displacing indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities without their free, prior, and informed consent. The complaints further allege that the mine has polluted the air and water in the vicinity of the mine with consequent human rights impacts.

The first complaint was filed in Australia, Switzerland, and the UK against Cerrejón’s three parent companies: Anglo American, BHP, and Glencore. The second complaint was filed in Ireland against Coal Marketing Company (CMC), which is the exclusive marketer of Cerrejón coal. The third complaint was filed in Ireland against the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), an Irish state-owned enterprise that has purchased coal from Cerrejón. The complainants are seeking mediation with a view to ensuring the progressive closure of the Cerrejón mine and remediation of existing adverse human rights impacts.

Relevant OECD Guidelines


On 10 January 2022, NCP UK published its initial assessment deciding that the complaint merited further examination. The issues the NCP accepted related only to Anglo American’s role as an investor and not with respect to the day-to-day operations of the Cerrejón mine. The NCP also noted that since the filing of the complaint, Anglo American announced that it had entered into an agreement for the sale of its one-third interest in Cerrejón to co-complainant company Glencore and that coordination between NCPs may be necessary for the complaint to proceed. Accordingly, NCP UK proposed to transfer the complaint to the Swiss NCP for joint mediation.

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