Development and poverty - an introduction
Below are select introductory materials on business and poverty/development. Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Poverty/Development/Economic & social rights: General" section of our website.
- Key international standards
- Key reports & guidance
- Concerns, company responses & non-responses
- Positive steps by companies
- Lawsuits regarding poverty & development
Key international standards
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: General Comment 9
Key reports & guidance
Business and the Millennium Development Goals – A Framework for Action, 2nd edition, Intl. Business Leaders Forum, Dec 2008
Business and the Millennium Development Goals – Your Call to Action [PDF], Oxfam (from “Briefings for Business” series), May 2008
World Investment Report - Transnational Corporations, Extractive Industries and Development [PDF], UN Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), Aug 2007
A Business Guide to Development Actors [PDF], World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Intl. Business Leaders Forum
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 poverty and development. We also indicate when a company has not responded.
Angola: Global Witness report & Financial Times article raise concerns that loan to Angola's state oil company Sonangol will perpetuate corruption & poverty, Oct 2005. Response by Barclays, Calyon, Deutsche Bank, KBC, Natexis Banques Populaires, Royal Bank of Scotland. Banco Espirito Santo, Commerzbank, Standard Chartered did not respond.
Angola: Report says mining companies' arbitrary seizure & destruction of farmlands causing widespread hunger & deepening poverty, Oct 2008. Endiama, ITM Mining and Lazare Kaplan did not respond.
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. ExxonMobil did not respond.
Ghana: ActionAid report alleges AngloGold Ashanti operations exacerbate poverty, harm health & environment in Obuasi, Oct 2006. AngloGold Ashanti response.
Madagascar: Panos/Friends of the Earth report raises displacement, poverty & environmental concerns regarding Rio Tinto mine, Oct 2007. Rio Tinto.response.
Peru: Tambogrande mine ignored opposition from local farmers, says Christian Aid report, “Unearthing the truth”, Mar 2006. Response by Manhattan Minerals.
Positive steps by companies
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
Lawsuits regarding poverty & development
Related stories and components
Author: International Diamond Exchange
“The Diamond Development Initiative, seeks to break new ground in an effort to improve the lives of artisanal (small-scale) diamond miners, by going beyond the Kimberley Process to address economic development,” says Ian Smillie of Partnership Africa...
- Related stories: Diamond Development Initiative seeks to go "beyond Kimberley Process" to improve lives of artisanal miners
- Related in-depth areas: Development and poverty - an introduction
- Related companies: De Beers Rapaport Group
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...
- Related stories: Ghana: ActionAid accuses AngloGold Ashanti of polluting water sources, exacerbating poverty
- Related in-depth areas: Development and poverty - an introduction Health - an introduction Linking development & human rights - an introduction
- Related companies: Anglo American AngloGold Ashanti
[Original article in Spanish. Title translation, and following summary of the article's key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]...
- Related stories: Perú: Cooperación entre Converse y bordadoras Quechua para generar trabajo
- Related in-depth areas: Development and poverty - an introduction Indigenous peoples - an introduction Linking development & human rights - an introduction
- Related companies: Converse (part of Nike)
Chad and World Bank: PWYP urges all stakeholders to resume talks to end current stalemate over oil revenue management law dispute
Author: Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition
ExxonMobil and other oil companies operating in Chad should...play their part in salvaging the revenue management system in Chad. With the freezing of the escrow account into which ExxonMobil has been paying revenues, the Chadian government demanded...
- Related stories: Publish What You Pay coalition calls on oil firms to resist Chad's demands to pay revenues directly to govt. rather than to escrow account used for poverty reduction
- Related in-depth areas: Development and poverty - an introduction Disclosure/use of payments to governments - an introduction Linking development & human rights - an introduction
- Related companies: Chevron ExxonMobil Petronas
[DOC] Table indicating which banks have responded to concerns raised about loan to Sonangol (Angola’s state oil company) - with links to responses
Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited each of the banks...to respond to concerns raised...about a new loan to Sonangol...The Global Witness article says these banks participated in a similar 2004 loan “and the same banks appear likely to...
- Related stories: Table indicating which banks have responded to concerns raised about loan to Sonangol (Angola’s state oil company)
- Related in-depth areas: Development and poverty - an introduction Disclosure/use of payments to governments - an introduction
- Related companies: Banco Espírito Santo Barclays Calyon (part of Crédit Agricole) Chevron Commerzbank Crédit Agricole Deutsche Bank KBC Natixis Royal Bank of Scotland Sonangol
Author: Christian Aid
As multinational mining companies BHP Billiton and Anglo American meet with campaigners to discuss the negative impact of mining in the developing world, Christian Aid’s new report argues that the questionable economic benefits of increased mining in...
- Related stories: Peru: Increased mining is harming local communities, says Christian Aid report
- Related in-depth areas: Development and poverty - an introduction Environment - An introduction
- Related companies: Anglo American BHP Billiton