Louis Henderson, spokesperson of the Church of England, articulated the church’s concerns in an e-mail interview. Excerpts:
Will you pull out of Vedanta as tribal interests are at stake?
We prefer engagement over disinvestment. But means and ends are connected, and engagement without positive outcomes can’t be an end in itself. We, therefore, never rule out disinvestment as a last resort.
How seriously do you view the allegations from the tribal groups?
Very seriously. We know allegations have been made that Vedanta is violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For certain sensitive industries, such as mining, we have a three-year monitoring and engagement process focusing on human rights. We are trying to arrange a meeting with the Vedanta management.
You have an ethics committee to advise on human rights violation?
The Church is advised by an independent ethical investment advisory group, which develops and coordinates ethical investment policy. It...