Linking development & human rights - an introduction

Below are select introductory materials on business and access to water.  Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Linking development & human rights" section of our site.

Key reports & guidance

“Human rights and development – Towards mutual reinforcement" [PDF], edited by Philip Alston and Mary Robinson, Oxford University Press, 2005

“Human Rights and the Millennium Development Goals – Making the Link" [PDF], UNDP

Concerns, company responses & non-responses

The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct.  Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding linking development & human rights.  We also indicate when a company has not responded.

Chad: Publish What You Pay coalition & Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic call on ExxonMobil to refuse Chad’s request to pay oil revenues directly to government instead of into escrow account for poverty reduction, Mar 2006. No response from ExxonMobil.

Ghana: ActionAid report alleges AngloGold Ashanti operations exacerbate poverty, harm health & environment in Obuasi, Oct 2006. Response from AngloGold Ashanti.

Nigeria: Amnesty Intl. report "Petroleum, pollution and poverty in the Niger Delta", Jul 2009. Response from Shell.

Positive steps by companies

Global: Ericsson promotes awareness of Millennium Development Goals in initiative supported by Mary Robinson, Jeffrey Sachs

Global: UK Prime Minister convenes major companies in "Business Call to Action" to tackle world poverty - booklet describes steps by Vodafone, Sumitomo Chemical, SAB Miller, Reuters, Microsoft, Diageo, Coca-Cola, Citi to help combat poverty

Global: UN, Google, Cisco launch website to track global poverty, progress towards Millennium Development Goals

Global: WBCSD report on how companies can contribute to poverty alleviation & sustainable development. With case studies on companies including Anglo American

Global: Ten companies receive awards for contribution to UN Millennium Development Goals, presented by UNDP, ICC, IBLF

Peru: Converse forms partnership with indigenous embroiderers to create jobs & combat poverty

Lawsuits regarding linking development & human rights

Biwater-Tanzania arbitration over water provision in Dar es Salaam

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Related stories and components

25 October 2019

Calls for advancement of dignity and human rights in the built environment lifecycle in new report

Author: Annabel Short, Institute for Human Rights and Business

“Dignity by Design – Human Rights and the Built Environment Lifecycle”, 1 July 2019...

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25 October 2019

Draft Principles for Dignity in the Built Environment

Author: Institute for Human Rights and Business

"Draft Principles for Dignity in the Built Environment Open for Consultation", 18 July 2019...

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25 October 2019

Draft Principles for Dignity in the Built Environment launched

In July 2019, the Institute of Human Rights and Business (IHRB) published a report entitled 'Dignity by Design' which calls for action in the built environment lifecylce, shaping society's response to global challenges like inequality, mass-migration,...

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3 December 2014

Gambia's rights record a threat to its economy, says US official

Author: StarAfrica

'Gambia's rights record threat to economy - US', 4 Dec 2014: The deteriorating human rights situation in...The Gambia could hinder higher economic growth...the charge d’affaires at the United States Embassy in Banjul...George Staples said...Human...

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7 October 2008

Ericsson spearheads MDGs awareness


Ericsson will raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals in the telecommunications industry in collaboration with Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and previously United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Jeffrey Sachs,...

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6 May 2008

Brown, UN seek big business to tackle world poverty

Author: Agence France Presse

Global businesses need to do more to help alleviate poverty in the developing world, Gordon Brown said Tuesday as he prepared to host a major conference on the issue...The event, called Business Call to Action, is designed to highlight work already...

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1 November 2007

UN, Google and Cisco unveil online tool in battle against global poverty

Author: UN News Centre

The United Nations has teamed up with technology leaders Google and Cisco to launch a new online site to track global progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the set of ambitious targets the world has set itself for slashing...

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10 October 2007

Doing Business with the World – The New Role of Corporate Leadership in Global Development

Author: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

This new publication by the WBCSD Development Focus Area shows how companies can contribute to global sustainable development through their core businesses in a way that is profitable for the companies and good for development. It offers a business...

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1 October 2006

Gold mining company accused of abuse in Ghana

Author: ActionAid

A new ActionAid report - Gold Rush - highlights how poor communities in Obuasi in Ghana are suffering serious environmental pollution and social problems as a result of gold mining by a subsidiary of the UK-based mining giant Anglo American... Local...

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1 June 2006

Local development of an indigenous community [Peru]

Author: ComunicaRSE

[Original article in Spanish. Title translation, and following summary of the article's key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]...

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