Dutch state violates own CSR procedures in Egypt's Suez Canal Expansion

(One World, Amsterdam, 4 June 2015) Evicting people from their homes is a major human rights violation according to the UN Commission on Human Rights. Therefore, it is disturbing that two Dutch companies are involved in the project that according to several reports in international media has already led to 2,000 evictions. Even more disturbing: the Netherlands guarantees the payment risks that Van Oord and Boskalis incur for this project. Van Oord and Boskalis applied for a so-called export credit insurance from Atradius Dutch State Business for the project from the Dutch state. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, prepared by the State and implemented by Atradius DSB, is based on guidelines drawn up in the OECD, the so-called Common Approaches,  which require an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). Atradius in an early March 2015 email to Dutch NGO Both ENDS noted that its efforts "to obtain information in connection with the environmental and social assessment... have not led to an ESIA, or sufficiently similar information for ex ante publication of the project." It thus appears that Atradius DSB issued an export credit insurance without an ESIA being available for this Cat A project. Political and economic considerations thus seem to have overruled the CSR policies of this ECA.