CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

East Asia & the Pacific

Cambodia / Cambodia: VEIL II-01/Ratanakiri Province

Households living in Ratanakiri Province (names confidential)
Date Filed
February 10, 2014
Loss of land, water concerns, child labor, information disclosure, community consultation and due diligence
Case Status
Open - Ombudsman



Vietnam Enterprise Investments Limited (VEIL or the Fund) is a closed-end investment fund which has been in operation since 1995.  The Fund has a capital base of just over US$500 million  and is managed by Dragon Capital Management Ltd., a subsidiary of Dragon Capital Group (DCG).  IFC has invested US$16.4 million in the Fund. The Fund aims to invest in publicly or privately issued securities of Vietnamese companies, with the stated aim to provide incentives for the development of Vietnamese capital markets by increasing liquidity of Vietnamese securities. One of the companies DCG invests in through the Fund is Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL).  


In February 2014, local members of 17 villages in Ratanakiri Province in Cambodia lodged a complaint with CAO with the support and assistance of five Cambodian NGOs. The complaint raises a range of environmental and social concerns about HAGL’s Cambodia operations, including impacts on water sources and fish resources, loss of land, lack of compensation, lack of information disclosure and engagement with the people, threat to spiritual, cultural and indigenous practices, as well as use of child labor.  The complaint alleges non-compliance with IFC policies and procedures and with Cambodian laws. The complainants requested that CAO keep their identities confidential. 


CAO Action

CAO has convened regular mediated meetings between the parties since the launch of the dispute resolution process.   Various agreements were reached along the way, and communicated by the parties in Joint Statements, which are available below under “View Documents”.   In March 2015, CAO released a communiqué regarding the adoption of a mediation agreement by the parties to the VEIL complaint and the issuance of their first Joint Statement regarding the ongoing mediation process.  In a second Joint Statement (July 2015), the parties informed the public about an early agreement between the company and three villages found not to be directly affected by HAGL's operations, and outside its economic land concessions.  A third Joint Statement (September 2015) sets out the agreement between the company and a further three villages that are within HAGL's concessions, but will not be affected due to the company's commitment not to clear and develop any further land.  The agreement between the parties further sets out plans for a joint field trip to demarcate the boundaries of community and company land, and HAGL’s commitment to establish a community grievance mechanism for its Cambodia operations. A fourth Joint Statement (September 2015) between the company and the 11 most directly affected communities sets out first agreements for this group of villages, including the plan to carry out a joint trip to the villages with local authorities, NGO advisors and CAO to demarcate boundaries of company and village land.  Should the company be found to have developed community land, the company agreed to first negotiate compensation, and, should that fail, return this land to the villages. A fifth Joint Statement (July 2016) summarizes the outcomes of a joint trip to two villages, which was conducted in January 2016. During the joint trip, the parties confirmed that the villages are outside the boundaries of HAGL’s current Economic Land Concession (ELC). However, the 2 villages continue to engage with the company, through CAO led mediation on other items as agreed in September 2015 (see fourth joint statement for more information).  All documents pertaining to the case - Joint Statements, letters from the company setting out their commitments are available by clicking 'View Documents' below. 



Between January and June 2016, the company and community representatives, members of the Provincial Government, NGO advisors and the CAO team conducted joint trips to several affected villages to establish which lands are under dispute. Furthermore, the government has established a working group to assist the parties.  


The parties continue to meet on a monthly basis to discuss resolution of the grievances of 12 affected villages under the auspices of CAO’s dispute resolution process.  A progress report providing more details about the process and outcomes so far was issued in July 2016. This Progress Report is available via the 'View Documents' below.


Status as of August 1, 2016

Project information

Project Name & Number
VEIL II 20926
Financial Markets
Dragon Capital Group
East Asia & the Pacific
Environmental Category
Quasi-equity US$16.4 million

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed
  • Facilitating Settlement: In Process