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Case alert: Survival International vs Vedanta Resources PLC

OECD Watch Apr 16, 2009

Surivival International files a complaint against Vedanta Resources PLC for violation of the OECD Guidelines. The construction of a bauxite mine on the Niyam Dongar mountain in India will severely endanger the rights of the Dongria Kondh Tribe, one of the most isolated tribes in India.

Neighbouring tribes to the Dongria Kondh tribe have already felt the impact of Vedanta’s presence. Some of them allege that they have been forcibly evicted to make way for the aluminium refinery. Others may still have to vacate their homes as the plant expands and feeder roads, air strips and toxic waste ponds are built. The Dongria Kondh tribe has not been consulted in the construction process and the complaint claims that the construction of the mine will severely endanger the rights of these indigenous people. Moreover, there are fears that local streams and cultivable land would be polluted by air-borne particulates from the mine, the road and the conveyor belts to carry ore to the refinery.

Survival International believes that serious disturbances will be averted, and justice achieved for the Dongria Kondh, only if Vedanta adheres to international human rights standards and engages with the communities most directly affected by its proposals. Vedanta has failed to consider the “potential implications” of its activities for the Dongria Kondh because it refuses to accept that there are any.

The UK NCP has conducted an initial assessment and accepted the complaint as a specific instance. The UK NCP contacted Vedanta about the complaint, but Vedanta turned down mediation. The NCP is set to begin an investigation.

Read more about the case in the OECD Watch Case Database


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