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Report: 'No Business, no rights - human rights impacts when land investments fail to include responsible exit strategies'

Author: Swedwatch, Published on: 8 November 2017

This report illustrates the impacts on local communities when land-related projects stall and when investors and companies have failed to identify and address such risks beforehand. It also explains the responsibility of investors at a premature and unplanned exit (divestment) [based on] a case study from Sierra Leone... During the research process Swedwatch also contacted the companies involved in the project. Sunbird Bioenergy provided information via email and one of the company managers took part in a telephone interview with Swedwatch...  Swedwatch met with Swedfund for interviews on several occasions, including to discuss findings of research, while FMO chose to send written answers to Swedwatch’s questions. Swedfund, FMO and Sunbird Bioenergy were offered the chance to read and comment on the report before publication... The report concludes that Swedfund and FMO, together with other involved parties, should assess how they could best assist in the remediation of the impacts caused by the Addax Bioenergy project stalling, and in preventing and mitigating the impacts related to the resumed operations... For future land-related projects, requirements on human rights due diligence and exit strategies that takes into account human rights risks should be put on businesses to make sure local livelihoods and food security are not jeopardised... [G]overnments must [...] put clear requirements on companies and investors and ensure that human rights defenders can carry out their work safely.

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