Columbian “Blood coal” complaint filed against European energy companies – by Annabel Cossins-Smith (Mining Technology – April 20, 2023)

A group argues that European energy companies have failed to take action to address human rights violations despite knowledge of abuses in the Columbian coal mining production chain.

Alleged victims of human rights abuses by the Columbian coal industry on Thursday filed an OECD complaint against several European energy companies, alleging their complicity in human rights abuses.

Victims of the coal industry in Columbia, submitted the complaint to the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines in The Hague, Netherlands. The guidelines are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries.

They provide principles and standards for responsible business conduct, and are the only multilaterally agreed code of responsible business conduct that governments have committed to promoting. However, they are also legally non-binding.

Companies accused in the complaint include power companies RWE, Uniper, Engie and Vattenfall for their involvement with coal mining in Columbia. It also names terminal operator HES International, as well as the Amsterdam Port Authority and the Rotterdam Port Authority, through which coal has been shipped.

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