Agricultural investment in Cambodia
Lead NCPUnited States
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by the NGOs Community Legal Education Center of Cambodia (CLEC) and Earth Rights International (ERI) regarding the activities of America Refining Inc. operating in the Cambodia.
Theme(s)General policies, Human rights
Date31 Oct 2012
Host country(ies)Cambodia
Industry sectorAgriculture, forestry and fishing

Read the public statement issued by the US NCP concluding the specific instance - 20 June 2013

In October 2012, the US NCP received a request for a review from the NGOs Community Legal Education Center of Cambodia (CLEC) and Earth Rights International (ERI) alleging that America Refining Inc. (ASR) had breached the general policies, and human rights provisions of the Guidelines. The NGOs raised concerns over human rights-related violations connected to its Koh Kong sugar plantation and refinery in Cambodia. More specifically, it was alleged that villagers were forcibly evicted with no public consultation, social or environmental impact assessment or settlement plan. The NGOs contended that ASR, by virtue of its supply chain relationship with the Koh Kong plantation, had an obligation to avoid contributing to conduct inconsistent with the Guidelines. Regarding the supply chain relationship, the NGOs stated that ASR purchased sugar produced at the plantation through the UK-based company, T&L Sugars Ltd.

The US NCP conducted an initial assessment of the specific instance and found sufficient reasons to offer its good offices to facilitate a discussion between the parties.

All parties agreed to participate in a dialogue lead by the neutral mediators employed by the US Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). However on March 2013, CLEC, on behalf of affected communities, filed a civil suit against T&L Sugars in the UK Commercial Court. ASR thus informed the NCP that it would not participate in the mediated dialogue unless CLEC withdrew its UK civil suit.

On 4 June 2013 the NCP concluded the specific instance when it became clear the parties could not reach an agreement to proceed. In its public statement, the NCP recommended that ASR evaluate the issues raised by the NGOs and consider how to address them, even if the conditions may not now exist to address them through the NCP mediation process.