Human rights in Guantanamo Bay prison
Lead NCPNorway
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGO Forum for Environment and Development (ForUM) regarding the activities of Aker Kværner, through its wholly owned US subsidiary Kværner Process Services Inc., in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Theme(s)Human rights
Date20 Jun 2005
Host country(ies)Cuba
Industry sectorWater supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities

Read the public statement issued by the Norwegian NCP concluding the specific instance | Norsk 

In June 2005 the Norwegian NCP received a request for review from the NGO Forum for Environment and Development (ForUM) alleging that, through its wholly owned US subsidiary Kværner Process Services Inc. (KPSI), Aker Kværner was in breach of the provision of the OECD Guidelines regarding respect for human rights in that it provided assistance to the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The prison was established to house prisoners suspected of terrorism, and it was criticised because the prisoners were denied due process protection.

The specific instance concerned the question of whether Aker Kværner had aided and abetted, or profited from, violations of human rights. Ethical evaluations of such issues are based on the human rights provision of the OECD Guidelines. Aker Kværner/KPSI was primarily involved in the running of the base, but it also contributed to maintenance and operational and supply functions that are common to the prison and the base.

The NCP had meetings with Aker Kværner and ForUM in September and  October 2005 to discuss the complaint submitted by ForUM and assist the parties in reaching agreement on this issue.

The NCP was of the view that the company’s activities must, at least in part, be deemed to affect the inmates of the prison. The running of the prison is dependent on the maintenance of infrastructure of the type involved in this complaint. The NCP emphasised that Norwegian companies should continuously evaluate their operations in relation to human rights. The situation at Guantanamo called for particular vigilance. The NCP also urged the company to adopt ethical guidelines and to apply them in all countries in which Aker Kværner operates.