Several months ago, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), in partnership with the UK law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn, filed a complaint with the UK National Contact Point for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) against Formula One regarding the company’s potential involvement in human rights abuses in Bahrain. Today, the United Kingdom National’s Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD released its initial assessment of the complaint in which it determined that Formula One’s obligations to perform due diligence on the human rights impact of its activities merited further review. ADHRB welcomes the decision of the NCP, and believes that moving forward in the OECD process will ultimately be to the benefit of all parties involved.
The complaint asks what due diligence should be performed by organizers of global sporting events in countries with records of human rights abuses.
The process will now move into the mediation phase, in which both sides will explore potential methods for improving company practices towards ameliorating its human rights impact. The NCP will formally ask the parties involved whether they are willing to engage the NCP in mediation “with the aim of reaching agreement on issues accepted for further examination.” ADHRB intends on communicating its intent to engage the mediation process in the near future, is grateful to the NCP for the opportunity to further engage with Formula One to better determine and potentially refine its human rights due diligence practices
“We are tremendously encouraged by the decision from the National Contact Point,” said Husain Abdulla, executive director of ADHRB. “By positively engaging with the OECD mediation process, we hope to encourage Formula One to better understand its effect on human rights in Bahrain and take steps to mitigate its impact.”
The full decision authored by the NCP can be found here.