Human rights breaches related to manufacturing of iron in India
Lead NCPKorea, Republic of (South)
Supporting NCP(s)Netherlands, Norway
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by a consortium of NGOs regarding the activities of POSCO India operating in India, and two of its investors, the Dutch Pension Fund ABP and its pension administrator APG, and the Norwegian Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
Theme(s)General policies, Human rights
Date9 Oct 2012
Host country(ies)India
Industry sectorMining and quarrying
StatusNot accepted

The Korean, Dutch, and Norwegian NCPs received a request for review from a consortium of NGOs (Lok Shakti Abhiyan (India), Korean Trans National Corporation Watch (South Korea), Fair Green Global Alliance (Netherlands), and ForUM (Norway), alleging that Pohang Iron and Steel Enterprise (POSCO), and its joint venture POSCO India Private Limited had breached the human rights provisions of the Guidelines. The allegations also concerned two of POSCO's investors, the Dutch Pension Fund ABP, and its pension administrator APG, and the Norwegian Bank Investment Management (NBIM) of the government pension fund Global.

More specifically, the NGOs alleged that POSCO failed to:

  1. seek to prevent or mitigate human rights impacts;
  2. to conduct comprehensive human rights due diligence; and
  3. to carry out environmental due diligence in its project to set up a steel plant in the Jagastinghpur District in Odisha, India, which is carried out by the wholly owned subsidiary POSCO India Private Limited.

The notifying parties allege that the financial institutions did not take all the appropriate steps to prevent or mitigate POSCO’s negative impacts on human rights and environmental rights which are directly linked to them through their financial relationship with POSCO.

The NCPs agreed that each NCP should handle the notification against the enterprise registered in their respective country. Consequently the Korean NCP assessed the alleged breach by POSCO, the Norwegian NCP assessed the alleged breach by NBIM, and the Netherlands NCP assessed the alleged breach by ABP and APG.

On 10 June 2013, the Korean NCP concluded that the specific instance concerning POSCO did not merit further consideration. The NCP considered the allegations to be related to the administrative activities of the provincial government of India rather than the business activities of Posco India. Therefore, the Indian courts, and not the NCP, were responsible for determining the legality and legitimacy of such activities. 

>> View the Netherlands NCP's assessment regarding ABP and APG

>> View the Norwegian NCP's assessment regarding NBIM

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