Natural Resources

 natural resources mining pit credit pixabay ronile

Extractive companies have had adverse impacts on a broad array of human rights, such as resettlement of communities without adequate consultation and compensation; environmental degradation and its effects on health, sources of livelihood and access to clean water; as well as charges of forced labor, rape and even extrajudicial killings by security forces protecting company assets, with some cases meeting the legal definition of corporate complicity.

 

- John Ruggie 

Natural resources are at the beginning of every supply chain. Their development is essential to the production of energy, consumer goods and food. This means that there are high stakes involved in their use, development and depletion. Natural resources can therefore be a great source of wealth for both governments and local communities, and bring benefits to all citizens. In practice, however, investments in oil, gas, coal, minerals, renewable energyand large-scale agriculture are often entwined with human rights abuses. This is particularly the case in some of the world’s poorest – but most resource-rich – countries. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, it is the responsibility of the companies developing these resources, as well as their buyers and investors, to safeguard the human rights of workers and communities affected by their activities. 

As Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege explained in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech: 

We love nice cars, jewellery and gadgets. I have a smartphone myself. These items contain minerals found in our country. Often mined in inhuman conditions by young children, victims of intimidation and sexual violence. When you drive your electric car, when you use your smart phone or admire your jewellery, take a minute to reflect on the human cost of manufacturing these objects. As consumers, let us at least insist that these products are manufactured with respect for human dignity.

In this “Big Issue” area, discover sector-specific analysis, initiatives, and news coverage.

Extractives   Renewable Energy   Agriculture

Get RSS feed of these results

Related stories and components

Article
25 February 2020

Kenya: Locals in oil-rich Turkana claim only the elite have benefited from Tullow Oil's operations; company comments

Author: Daily Nation (Kenya)

"Villagers left high and dry as Tullow breaks promise"...

Read more

Article
24 February 2020

Ghana: New legislation proposes corporate social responsibility spending becomes compulsory for all mining firms

Author: Ghana Web

‘New mining bill tightens regulatory framework’ 19 February 2020            ...

Read more

Article
24 February 2020

Liberia: Two killed and one injured after mine collapses

Author: Selma Lomax, Front Page Africa (Liberia)

‘Two Buried Alive in Jackson Village Mine Collapse’ 21 February 2020...

Read more

Article
20 February 2020

Africa: The potential link between natural resources exploitation, climate change and natural disasters

Author: Diana Nabiruma, The Observer (Uganda)

"Locusts, climate change and oil exploitation", 19 Feburary 2020...

Read more

Article
18 February 2020

So. Africa: Civil society calls on Minerals Act amendments to recognise land rights of local communities

Author: Sarah Smit, Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

‘Changes to mining Act need work’ 7 February 2020...

Read more

Article
18 February 2020

Zimbabwe: Women still exploited and unsafe in the small scale mining industry

Author: Gibson Mhaka, Chronicle (Zimbabwe)

‘Gender inequality, health and safety of women in small-scale mining’ 18 February 2020...

Read more

Article
17 February 2020

Apple removed 18 smelters and refiners not willing to submit to third-party auditing from its supply chain in 2019

Author: Mikey Campbell, appleinsider

"Apple removed 18 smelters and refiners in 2019 for flouting conflict mineral code of conduct", 6 February 2020....

Read more

Article
17 February 2020

Commentary: EU conflict minerals regulation falls short of existing standards and US Dodd-Frank Act

Author: Laurent Ruessmann, Jonathan Brooks and Andrew Hood, Global Mining Review

"The battle for stronger EU conflict minerals legislation", 4 February 2020....

Read more

Article
17 February 2020
+ Français - Hide

Author: Bangaly Condé, Deutsche Welle (Allemagne)

"L'orpaillage, un danger pour la santé et la scolarisation", 12 février 2020...

Read more

Article
17 February 2020

International Council on Mining and Metals updates company membership requirements with stronger social and environmental standards

Author: Matthew Hall, Mining Technology

"ICMM updates membership requirements for mining companies", 13 February 2020....

Read more