Chile: Alto Maipo-02/Cajon del Maipo
Internal grievance mechanism, occupational health and safety
Debt US $150 million
IFC has an active project with Alto Maipo SpA in Chile. According to IFC, the project comprises the construction of two run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities connected in series with a combined capacity of 531 MW for the purposes of providing baseload electricity to the Chilean Central Interconnected Grid or SIC. AES Gener is the IFC Sponsor for this project.
CAO received a complaint filed by a former worker with the AES Gener Foundation and resident of the Cajon del Maipo, whose work focused on the Alto Maipo project. The complaint alleges that while she was working for the company, she was sexually harassed by one of her colleagues. The complainant raises concerns with regards to the appropriateness of the company’s response to her reporting the harassment internally, and thus to the proper functioning of the company’s internal grievance mechanism.
CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in August 2017. During the assessment, there was a lack of consensus amongst the parties to engage in a CAO-facilitated dispute resolution process. Hence, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the case has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function.
CAO concluded its compliance appraisal in May 2018 and decided that an investigation was warranted about the issues raised in the Alto Maipo-02 complaint. The appraisal noted that CAO has generally not initiated compliance investigations in response to individual employment-related disputes. In this case, however, IFC project documentation indicates concerns regarding other allegations of sexual harassment, at the level of the company and contractors, in addition to those brought by the complainant. CAO has identified questions as to IFC’s application of requirements that the “client will take measures to prevent and address harassment, intimidation, and/or exploitation, especially in regard to women” (PS2, para. 15). Given the issues raised by the complainant, CAO also has questions as to the application of PS2 requirements regarding the handling of worker grievances (para. 20).
The case was merged with the Alto Maipo-01 complaint about the purpose of the compliance investigation. CAO published the Terms of Reference for this investigation in August 2018.
CAO will monitor the effective implementation of the actions set out in IFC’s Management Action Plan, based on CAO Policy. All case reports are available under the "Case Documents" section below.
Status as of September 22, 2021.