Case story

  • South Korea

OECD NCP South Korea - EarthRights International et al. vs. KOGAS

Burma 2008

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Story

The Complainants allege breaches of the Guidelines by Daewoo International and the Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) related to the companies’ exploration, development, and operation of the Shwe natural gas project in military-ruled Burma. According to the Complainants, human rights abuses such as forced relocation and violations of the right to freedom of expression are linked to the project. The companies have failed to disclose information to local communities about the project, and local people have not participated in any impact assessments, despite ongoing and imminent human rights and environmental impacts.

Offshore exploration has been ongoing since 2004, when Daewoo Internaitonal first discovered commercially viable gas off the coast of Burma’s Arakan State. onstruction of a transnational, cross-country pipeline by a consortium of Daewoo, KOGAS, ONGC Videsh and GAIL , is being planned to transport the Shwe gas to China, threatening severe and widespread human rights abuses, including forced relocation, forced labour and violence perpetrated against local communities by the Burmese Army, which will secure the project. The companies have failed to disclose information to local communities about the project, and local people have not participated in any impact assessments, despite ongoing and imminent HR and environmental impacts.

Outcome

At the time of filing in October 2008, the NCP met at length with the Complainants and informally agreed to consider the complaint; however, on 27 November 2008 the Korean NCP rejected the complaint on all counts. The NCP opined that the general situation in Burma and specifically around the Shwe Project does not merit an investigation or arbitration between the companies and the complainants, despite the fact that many groups and communities from within the proposed pipeline area in Burma believe that it does.

References

OECD Watch case story page: http://oecdwatch.org/cases/Case_149

Contributor(s): This article was modified by Kyle (3), Nicolaclayre (3), and Ejfturnbull (1).