The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is an independent, not-for-profit research and network organisation
working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable
development. Since 1973, the organisation investigates multinational
corporations and the consequences of their activities for people and the
environment around the world. More...
The Netherlands take a central position in the current debate on BITs and international investment agreements (IIAs). A new report, Socialising Losses, Privatising Gains, highlights how more than 10% of all known investment treaty claims make use of Dutch Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). 75% of these cases was brought on by mailbox companies with no real economic substance in the Netherlands, making use of the vast web of Dutch BITs that grant extensive privileges and protections to foreign investors. Faced with the (threat of) investment claims that limit their policy space to regulate, a number of states have resorted to terminating their BITs with the Netherlands. The Netherlands should fundamentally reconsider its investment policy, say the authors of the report.
European Development Bank accepts complaint submitted by Mongolian herders about iron ore mining company
The company Altain Khuder operates the Tayan Nuur mine which allegedly has caused significant environmental pollution and the displacement of herders in the Mongolian Gobi Altai mountains. The independent accountability mechanism of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has invested in the company, accepted the complaint last week.
This new SOMO publication brings together existing knowledge about 24 international guidelines and principles for companies operating in conflict-affected areas. The main purpose of the paper is to give a relevant overview of the existing principles and guidelines and their scope, so that affected communities and workers can use them in their dealings with companies in case of business-related human right violations.
Socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) is all about how the purchasing policies and practices organisations in the public and semi-public sector at the buying end of the supply chain can help to improve global sustainability and human rights. SOMO's new fact sheet is the fourth in a series about labour conditions in the textiles and garments industry and focuses on Europe.
Nomadic herders in rural Mongolia face health impacts, displacement and intimidation as a result of a large iron ore mine, financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). These impacts are directly related to business factors such as the need for infrastructure, mine lifespan and production targets. If such factors come into conflict with meaningful stakeholder engagement, rights are deprioritized and community livelihoods threatened. The involvement of a development finance institution, which requires compliance with social and environmental standards, is no safeguard against such adverse impacts.