Displacement of local populations and environmental degradation in Bangladesh
Lead NCPUnited Kingdom
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGOs International Accountability Project (IAP) and the World Development Movement (WDM) regarding the activities of GCM Resources Plc operating in Bangladesh.
Theme(s)General policies, Human rights
Date21 Dec 2012
Host country(ies)Bangladesh
Industry sectorMining and quarrying

Read the initial assessment issued by the UK NCP regarding the specific instance - 14 June 2013

Read the update statement issued by the UK NCP - June 2014

Read the final statement issued by the UK NCP concluding the specific instance - November 2014

Read the statement issued by the UK NCP's Steering Board - 22 September 2014

In December 2012 the UK NCP received a request for a review from the NGOs International Accountability Project (IAP) and the World Development Movement (WDM) alleging that GCM Resources Plc had breached the general policies, human rights, and disclosure provisions of the Guidelines. The key allegation of the NGOs is that, by pursuing plans to develop a mine at Phulbari in Bangladesh, GCM failed to respect the rights of communities in that area. The NGOs said that the mine would displace tens of thousands of people who do not have access to appropriate forms of legal or other protection, and that GCM’s plans did not address the adverse impact on these people.

The NCP undertook an initial assessment and concluded that certain parts of the specific instance merited further consideration. The NCP's reasons and next steps are outlined in their initial assessment, issued 14 June 2013.

Following publication of their initial assessment, the NCP examined the issues accepted for further examination and offered mediation to the parties. Neither party was willing to agree to mediation without pre-conditions unacceptable to the other party, so in July 2013, the UK NCP informed the parties that it would undertake a further examination of the substantiated issues, and make findings on the company’s observance of the Guidelines. In response to an invitation from the NCP, both parties then submitted details of additional documents and sources they considered were relevant to a further examination, and the NCP drew on these and relevant third party sources to make its findings.

In January 2014, the NCP shared a draft final statement with the parties. Comments were received from the company and the NGOs which were taken into consideration before the final statement was issued. The statement contained recommendations for the company to continue to update its plans in line with international best practice standards, and in particular to pursue the Human Rights Impact Assessment it has advised the NCP that it will include. The NCP also recommended that GCM develop its communications plans on the basis of a full assessment of risks, including the risks of limiting local engagement, and identifies appropriate ways to re-engage with affected communities, increase the information available to them, and take account of their views.

Following this, a review of the NCP’s procedure as regards the specific instance was requested by the NGOs. Read the outcomes of this review in the Steering Board's statement, issued 22 September 2014.