Haiti: Grupo M and CODEVI II-01/Zone Franche de Ouanaminthe
Farmers from the Ouanaminthe Special Economic Zone.
Economic dislocation, loss of livelihood, waste management.
IFC has an active project in Haiti with Grupo M and its fully owned subsidiary CODEVI, one of the largest garment manufacturing operations in the Central America and Caribbean region. The project supports CODEVI in an expansion program that consists of the construction of a new facility for the assembly of woven garments and the acquisition of specialized machinery for dry garment assembly and processing operations. The project will be undertaken in two new buildings to be constructed on land already owned by Grupo M at CODEVI.
The complaint was submitted to CAO by a local individual on behalf of 174 farmers’ households in the Special Economic Zone of Ouanaminthe. The complaint raises concerns regarding the economic displacement of the complainants due to CODEVI’s construction of their facilities in the Special Economic Zone in 2002. According to the complaint, despite commitments made in a ‘social compensation plan’, they have yet to receive their replacement land and did not obtain adequate compensation for their crops. The complaint also alleges improper waste disposal by CODEVI, leading to pollution.
CAO found the complaint eligible in April 2020 and initiated an assessment of the complaint. During the assessment, the complainants and the company agreed to engage in a voluntary dialogue process to try to resolve the dispute. CAO released its assessment report documenting this outcome in January 2021.
During 2021, CAO engaged the parties in several online activities, including technical training for the complainants, capacity-building sessions to clarify questions related to the dispute resolution process, and the use of technology in the process. The parties initiated a discussion about the ground rules to guide their engagement, which were first discussed separately and online in early 2022.
Once COVID-19 travel restrictions and security measures were lifted in April 2022, CAO met with the parties in person in May 2022 and facilitated bilateral and joint meetings. During those meetings, the parties continued their conversation regarding the content of the ground rules document but were unable to reach agreement on that matter. CAO continued to work with the parties virtually to discuss the areas of disagreement between June 2022 and April 2023.
In May 2023, despite the parties' efforts to resolve the issues raised in the complaint, the parties could not reach an agreement. Accordingly, the case has been transferred to CAO’s Compliance function at the request of the complainants and in accordance with CAO’s Policy. CAO will conduct a compliance appraisal to determine whether an investigation of IFC’s environmental and social performance is merited in relation to the issues raised in the complaint or whether to close the case.
The conclusion report is now available in English and Haitian Creole under the “Case Documents” section below this page.
The dispute resolution process concluded with no agreement. The case has been transferred to Compliance.
Status as of October 19, 2023