Any of our business? Human Rights and the UK private sector - Human Rights Joint Committee Contents

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Survival International

  Earlier this year we submitted a report to the JCHR regarding the activities of FTSE100 company Vedanta Resources in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa, India.

  This week, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) issued a Final Statement on Survival International's complaint against Vedanta under the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises.

  The British government's statement condemns Vedanta's treatment of the Dongria Kondh tribal community and upholds Survival's complaint. It concludes that Vedanta "did not respect the rights and freedoms of those affected by its activities consistently with the international instruments of which India is a party", "did not consider the impact of the construction of the mine on the [Dongria's] rights" and failed to consult with the Dongria.

  I hope that you will use this information in your current review of business and human rights and that the JCHR will be ensuring that the government follows up on cases like this so that such statements do not remain toothless paper recommendations.

  As requested, we shall be reporting back to the National Contact Point at BIS within three months with news of whether Vedanta has abided by its recommendations. If it has not, we will be seeking ways to ensure that sanctions are levied on the company and would be very interested to hear your views on what the government could—or should—do in this regard.

13 October 2009

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