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27 Nov 2012

United Nations Radio

[audio] How to make business respect human rights?

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[Title and summary translation from Russian provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre] How can we ensure economic development is not damaging the environment, harming the health of local people, causing indigenous people to lose their lands, or leading to other human rights violations? One of the expert members of the UN Working Group on business and human rights, Pavel Sulyandziga, says that the Working Group's aim is to minimise the negative impacts of business and he stresses that local communities should benefit from business activities. A system where businesses respect human rights is slowly developing at the global level. Some of the biggest financial institutions are already granting loans to companies on the condition that they respect the rights of the native people living in the area surrounding their operations. There are a few positive examples of corporations operating in Russia that do take the human rights of indigenous peoples and local communities into account. Sakhalin Energy, operating in the Sakhalin island shelf, successfully cooperates with indigenous people; Kinross Gold is extracting gold in Chukotka; and lumber company, Korneles, is working in collaboration with communities in the Adygea Republic. Novatek, which is extracting gas in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, has an indigenous minorities development plan.