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Jamaa Resource Initiatives et. al vs US Company

Case overview

Date filed 18 October 2016
Current status Concluded
Issue Labor and health harms by US Subsidiary at Yala Swamp Kenya
Summary of the case In 2003, a US Company's Kenyan owned subsidiary (Subdiary) began leasing 17,050 acres of land in the ecologically sensitive Yala Swamp wetlands in western Kenya. While local communities have traditionally used this land, the Subsidiary has used the land for rice cultivation and has since expanded its operations on the land to include a paper mill, an irrigation and hydropower project, a tilapia fish aquaculture project, amongst other agricultural and by-product activities.

The complainants allege that the Subsidiary's operations have resulted in the loss of lands and livelihoods for local farmers, as well as grave social, environmental and health impacts on the affected communities. The complainants allege that the Subsidiary has given poor wages that do not meet their needs, despite promises made by the company to improve the local economy. The company has also blocked access to the lake, impacting locals assess to their livelihoods, schools, markets and health clinics. Protest against this has met forced resistance, including arrests and teargas. Toxic pesticides used in aerial sprayings and in the fields have harmed the health of people and livestock.

The complainants have requested that the US NCP consider carrying out a fact-finding mission to verify the impacts suffered by local communities, while also carrying out a mediation process that encourages the US Company to adopt a human rights and environmental policy, while allowing for freedom of association and remedy for harms suffered.




Developments/Outcome On 10 February 2017, the NCP accepted the specific instance for mediation. On 28 February 2017, the US Company declined to participate in mediation citing ongoing legal proceedings. A Final Statement closing the specific instance was published on 24 November 2017. The NCP wrote in its Statement that "For
reasons related to safety and security of parties involved in this unique circumstance, the Company has been anonymized." The final statement observed that while the company never formally responded to the allegations in writing, they stated in a call that there was no truth to the compliant. While Jamaa had responded that the parallel proceedings do not cover the issue, the US NCP states that it believes “that while judicial action may resolve some of the issues at hand, a broader process of mediation could lead to resolution of issues which are not before the courts and will advance the implementation of the Guidelines, if in fact they are not being properly implemented by the company. The NCP also stated that it encourages the parties to begin a dialogue on the issues raised, and the office stands ready to consider further requests for mediation by the parties under the auspices of the US NCP. The only recommendation provided by the NCP is that it encourages all companies to implement the Guidelines.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Health and safety, Labour rights, Human rights, Environment

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point United States of America
NCP address C St. NW 2201 20520 Washington, DC, United States
NCP website http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/oia/usncp/index.htm
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

Company Information

Company responsible US Company
Company address
Company website
Company in violation US Company Subsidiary in Kenya
Country of operations Kenya
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
24 November 2017 National Contact Point United States of America statement The US NCP issues the Final Statement. download pdf (296Kb)  
10 February 2017 National Contact Point United States of America accept The US NCP accepts the case for further examination and mediation.  
18 October 2016 Jamaa Resources Initiatives file A complaint was filed on 18 October 2016 by Jamaa Resources Initiatives, with three community representatives, to the US NCP regarding The US Company's Subsidiary's operations in the Yala Wetlands swamp in western Kenya.  

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