By Kieran Laird

On 7 November 2018, the UK NCP issued its Initial Assessment of a complaint from the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) against HPower Group Limited (HPG), which organises events worldwide, and two other multinational enterprises (MNEs).

The complaint alleged that the companies had acted inconsistently with the OECD Guidelines (the Guidelines) – the set of voluntary standards for MNEs which encourage responsible business conduct across a range of topics including human rights. Under the Guidelines, MNEs are required to ensure that they consider the effects of their operations on human rights, that these rights are respected and that they encourage such respect in their business relationships. Business relationships include ‘relationships with business partners or entities in the supply chain and any other non-State or State entities directly linked to its business operations, products or services’.