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8 Jun 2010

Adrienne Margolis, in International Bar Association website

Overdue diligence

Businesses in the extractive industries are raising their game when it comes to human rights, but there’s some way to go yet...John Ruggie...revealing that the sector accounts for two thirds of the cases of alleged human rights abuses...Companies in the extractive industries often operate in countries where governance is weak, which increases the need for responsible business behaviour...The aim is to recommend due diligence procedures that are integrated into the business operations of mineral companies operating in conflict zones and fragile states...[Dr Lahra Liberti, Adviser on International Investment Law in the OECD Secretariat] explains...Although many NGOs maintain that a stronger legal framework is needed to ensure companies provide balanced information on their activities, not everyone agrees that the legal route is the most effective. [refers to case studies on Rio Tinto, Shell. Also refers to De Beers]