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BIRD vs. Rolex

Case overview

Date filed 11 April 2018
Current status Rejected
Issue HPG's human rights impact in Bahrain
Summary of the case On 11 April 2018 the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) filed a complaint with the UK NCP against HPower Group Limited (HPG), Jaguar Land Rover and Rolex.

BIRD alleges that HPG, while organizing the Royal Windsor Horse Show (RWHS) and arranging financial sponsorship in support of it, has failed to take into account the possible human rights impacts of its business relationship with the Bahraini government, and did not follow any appropriate due diligence process. In relation to Jaguar Land Rover and Rolex, BIRD alleges that their sponsoring of the RWHS ensured the financial viability of the event and allowed their brands to be associated with the Bahraini authorities. As a result, the three companies are said to support the view that the Bahraini authorities are conducting ‘business as usual’ while human rights abuses are still rampant in the country. Furthermore, the companies have allegedly created more opportunities for human rights violations in relation to the RWHS, specifically the detention of Bahraini family members of UK based activists during the event. The companies are also said to have prevented demonstrations at the event itself, with the help of Bahraini and UK security personnel.

The complainants ask that the companies disclose all relevant due diligence and evidence relating to how they handle matters concerning human rights. Moreover, BIRD hopes that the NCP will supervise a negotiated settlement of the complaint, resulting in the companies putting in place adequate human rights policies, a plan for the carrying out of effective due diligence, and relevant stakeholder engagement in future events.
Developments/Outcome In its initial assessment, published on 8 November 2018, the NCP decided to allow the complaint against HPG in relation to the recommendation that businesses should seek ways to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts linked to their business operation or by their business relationships. It has offered its good offices for a process of mediation. If the parties will not be able to reach a mediated solution, the NCP will conduct its own research into the issues, the findings of which will be presented in a final statement.

The NCP rejected the parts of the complaint that relate to Jaguar Land Rover and Rolex, since in its view the companies are not sufficiently linked to the party causing the harm for the guidelines to apply.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Les droits de l'homme

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United Kingdom
NCP address Victoria Street 1-19 SW1H 0ET London, United Kingdom
NCP website
Other NCPs involved



Company Information

Company responsible Rolex SA
Company address
Company website
Company in violation Rolex SA
Country of operations United Kingdom
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
8 November 2018 National Contact Point United Kingdom initial assessment The UK NCP publishes its initial assessment in which it rejects the case against Rolex download pdf (435Kb)  
11 April 2018 Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy file Complaint filed at the UK NCP download pdf (156Kb)  

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