Human rights in Kosovo
Lead NCPNorway
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by an individual representing 129 Roma in Kosovo regarding the activities of Norwegian Church Aid.
Theme(s)Environment, General policies, Human rights
Date22 Jun 2011
Host country(ies)Kosovo
SourceIndividuals
Industry sectorAccommodation and food service
StatusNot accepted
Summary

Read initial assessment and concluding statement issued by the Norwegian NCP. Read the press release issued 27 November 2011.


In June 2011 the Norwegian NCP received a request for review from Dianne Post representing 129 Roma in Kosovo who alleged that Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) breached the human rights and environment provisions of the Guidelines for not having prevented exposure to serious and lethal health risks due to detrimental conditions in the refugee camp that it managed.

The notifiers alleged that, following the 1999 NATO bombing of Kosovo, Roma who did not flee Kosovo were placed in camps for internally displaced persons. The camps were allegedly located on land contaminated with lead or land that was used as a toxic waste dump site. As a result, the inhabitants of the camps experienced severe health problems. Although NCA did not set up the camps itself, it managed one camp in the region on behalf of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and later on behalf of the local government. Since NCA managed the camp, the complainants hold the organisation responsible for alleged negative health impacts caused by exposure to lead poisoning as well as the lack of basic hygiene and sufficient food.

The notifiers claimed that Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) should be viewed as a Multinational Enterprise (MNE) on the grounds that it receives nearly half of its income from public funds and operates internationally. The specific instance was rejected however by the Norwegian NCP, which concluded that it was not against a “company” as understood by the Guidelines.

The Norwegian NCP consulted with the OECD Annual NCP Meeting held by the OECD Investment Committee, which supported the view that NCA did not qualify as an MNE. The specific instance therefore fell beyond the range of the Guidelines and the mandate of the NCP and could not be accepted for consideration.