On 10 January 2022, the Swiss, Australian and UK National Central Points (NCPs) issued their initial assessment under the OECD Guidelines, in relation to three international mining giants (BHP, Anglo American and Glencore), over serious human rights abuses relating to environmental pollution at the Cerrejón coal mine, Colombia, finding that the complaints deal with a credible issue and should progress. The Irish NCP has yet to deliver its initial assessment of ESB and also the Dublin-based sales arm of the Cerrejón mine, CMC.
The parallel complaints were filed on 19 January 2021 simultaneously in Australia, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK by the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) in partnership with Colombian and international human rights and environmental NGOs – CINEP, CAJAR, AIDA, ABColombia, ASK and Christian Aid Ireland.
As noted by the Australian NCP:
“After the complaint was made, the companies announced that Glencore would be acquiring the interests of Anglo American and BHP in the Cerrejón operation.
The Australian NCP proposes that good offices should: (a) concern the Guidelines’ compliance in Australia, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, by the companies, including expectations for enterprises to address impacts ‘that are directly linked to their business operations, products or services by a business relationship, even if they do not contribute to those impacts’, and (b) be facilitated by the Swiss NCP, including all parties.”
Monica Feria-Tinta was instructed in the preparation of these complaints by GLAN.