The complaints relate to human rights due diligence in connection with the merger of companies, stakeholder engagement and addressing ongoing, unremediated adverse impacts.
Three South Sudanese and five European organizations submitted the complaints to the Norwegian NCP in May 2022: PAX, Civil Society Coalition on Natural Resources, Global Idé, Church Aid, Liech Victims Voices, Norwegian Peoples Aid, South Sudan Council of Churches and Swedwatch. The complaints are directed at Aker BP ASA and Aker ASA. They are delivered on behalf of an estimated number of 200,000 South Sudanese victims of gross and systematic human rights violations.
The complainants allege that Lundin Energy contributed to serious and systematic human rights violations in Sudan in the period 1997-2003, and that there is a direct link between the merger of Aker BP ASA and Lundin Energy Norway, and Lundin Energy’s ability to remediate potential and ongoing adverse impacts on human rights. The complainants contend that the Aker companies have failed to observe the human rights chapter of the OECD Guidelines when it comes to due diligence, stakeholder engagement and facilitating potential unremedied adverse impacts.
The NCP has determined that parts of the complaints merit further consideration and limits this to the questions concerning the companies’ due diligence with regards to human rights in connection with the merger. The assessment is based on the initial assessment criteria in the Procedural Guidance in the OECD Guidelines and the Procedural Guidelines of the Norwegian NCP.
The NCP considers that an offer of dialogue and mediation between the parties may contribute to the purposes of the OECD Guidelines. The NCP has at this stage made no assessment as to whether the companies have acted consistently with the OECD Guidelines.
«Both the right to access remedy and due diligence in connection with mergers and acquisitions are areas where there is limited practice in the National Contact Points. This will therefore be a specific instance that is suitable for learning, and that will also potentially lead to clarifications when it comes to matters of principle«, Frode Elgesem, Chair of the NCP.
For questions about the specific instance, contact NCP Chair Frode Elgesem, ph: + 47 416 96 089.