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Welcome to the Resource Centre

We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

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Thank you,
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

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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

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Related stories and components

21 July 2013

“Glencore Xstrata’s Espinar Province Mines: Cumulative Impacts to Human Health and the Environment”

Author: The Center for Science in Public Participation for Oxfam America

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13 October 2012
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Author: XIVe Conférence des chefs d’État et de gouvernement des pays ayant le français en partage

Constatant que si la croissance mondiale de la demande en ressources naturelles offre aux pays riches en ressources des possibilités sans précédent...l'exploitation des ressources naturelles est parfois associée à la dégradation de l'environnement, à l...

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21 September 2011

Extraction of natural resources a key cause of abuse of indigenous peoples’ rights – UN expert

Author: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, warned Wednesday that indigenous communities’ right to self-determination in the political, social and economic spheres is being threatened by the current model for...

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1 February 2009

[PDF] The State of the Workplace for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans - 2007-2008

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2 September 2008

Chile: Concerns around social & environmental impacts over Rockwood Lithium operations (acquired by Albemarle)

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