This was the first time a NHRI and a NCP organised a seminar together on business activities and Indigenous peoples’ rights, in an area of interest for indigenous people. Read the seminar report.
The seminar was held in Karasjok, the seat of the Sami parliament, and brought together a diversity of perspectives with representatives from business, Sami communities, local governments and other stakeholders.
The seminar focused on two different cases, the first case from the complaint handling of Norway and Sweden’s NCP on the company Statkrafts’ construction of wind parks in the Sámi village of Jijnjevaerie in Sweden. The second case was the planned copper mine in Kvalsund, with a particular focus on the human rights implications of these projects and their effects on the Sámi people’s reindeer herding areas.
Concrete examples of how conflicts and dialogue are dealt with in practice were presented, both from the business perspective and from the impacted Sámi communities, and from community representatives who were in favor of the projects and those that were against. Challenges, lessons learnt and best practices for responsible business conduct and consultation with Indigenous peoples on mitigation measures were also discussed.
Norway’s NCP launched the Norwegian and Sámi language versions of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector.
The guidance contains a chapter on recommendations for dialogue with Indigenous peoples that was discussed during the seminar.
We hope that Sámi communities and other indigenous communities companies, governments, as well as other NHRIs and OECD National Contact Points can be better prepared to handle future business development projects in line with international standards on Indigenous peoples’ rights and responsible business conduct.
Read the seminar report here.