UN warns Vinci and others of human rights violations at $ 3 billion Indonesian mega-complex – News
Vinci Construction Grands Projets, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other investors have been warned by UN human rights experts that they may be complicit in a rights violation of man in a $ 3 billion tourism project on the Indonesian island of Lombok.
Last week, experts released a statement alarming forced evictions of locals and indigenous peoples, and threats against human rights defenders, to make way for a Grand Prix motorcycle circuit, parks, resorts and hotels in Mandalika, in the impoverished province of West Nusa Tenggara in Lombok. .
The project is partly funded by the AIIB and has attracted more than $ 1 billion from private investors, of which the French Vinci Construction Grands Projets is the most important.
The experts mentionned Vinci was in charge of the Mandalika circuit, hotels, a hospital, a water park and other facilities.
The joint statement claimed that there had been evictions of local communities and the destruction of homes, fields, water sources, cultural and religious sites, while the Indonesian government and the Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) of the country “were preparing Mandalika to become a” new Bali “. “
“Credible sources have found that local residents have been subjected to threats and intimidation and forcibly evicted from their lands without compensation. Despite these findings, the ITDC has not sought to pay compensation or settle land disputes, ”the experts said.
They added: “In light of the grim history of human rights violations and land grabs in the region, the AIIB and the companies cannot look away and continue their business as usual. Their inability to prevent and deal with the risks of human rights violations amounts to being complicit in such violations. “
They also criticized the lack of due diligence on the part of the AIIB and private companies to identify, prevent, mitigate and report on how they deal with the negative impacts on human rights set out in the Guiding Principles. United Nations on Business and Human Rights.
Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, tweeted: “Farmers and fishermen have been evicted from their land and have seen their homes, fields and cultural sites destroyed for the construction of a mega tourism project in Indonesia. Vinci, Club Med and Accor must ensure that they are not accomplices. ”
Last month, UN experts raised their concerns in joint communications to the Indonesian government, ITDC and AIIB, as well as private companies and their countries of origin: France, Spain and the United States.
Vinci has been contacted for comment.
“The time has passed for racing circuits and massive transnational tourism infrastructure projects that benefit a handful of economic players rather than the population as a whole,” said De Schutter.
“Post-COVID economies should focus on empowering local communities, improving their livelihoods and participating in decision-making. We urge the Indonesian government to ensure that ITDC respects human rights and the rule of law, as well as AIIB and private companies not to fund or engage in projects and activities that contribute to human rights violations and abuses. ”
Image: Kuta Beach in Mandalika on the Indonesian island of Lombok (Saepul Jr / Unsplash)