Date filed
19 January 2021
Keywords
Countries of harm
Current status
No resolution
Sector
NCP

Allegations

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

Outcome

On 10 January 2022, the Australian NCP published its initial assessment determining the complaint merited further examination and stating the complaint should proceed to good offices. Given Glencore’s acquisition of BHP and Anglo American’s interest in the Cerrejón mine, the NCP proposed that good offices should concern the Guidelines’ compliance in Australia, Switzerland, or the UK by the three companies, including expectations for enterprises that are directly linked to impacts, and be facilitated by the Swiss NCP.

The Australian NCP published its final statement on 31 July 2023. The statement details how the complaint was handled by the Swiss NCP. In January 2022, the Swiss NCP commenced good offices, but they were terminated by the complainant’s withdrawal of the complaint in August 2022 and request for a final statement. The Swiss NCP published its final statement in December 2022. Because the Swiss NCP’s good offices did not resolve the complaint, the Australian NCP proceeded to process the complaint according to its procedures, but expressly made no assessment of the issues raised because of how the good offices concluded. The Australian NCP concluded that the withdrawal by the complainant from the Swiss NCP’s good offices resulted in the NCP process being unable to assist the parties in resolving the issues raised.

More details

Defendant
Company in violation
Other companies involved
Complainants
Affected people
Other NCP's where the complaint was filed
Date rejected / concluded
31 July 2023

Related complaints

Documents