Extractives projects, such as mines and oil fields, are one of the main sources of human rights abuses in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with hazardous working conditions, labour rights abuses, effects on the health of local communities, and severe environmental impacts. Human rights impacts linked to business activities often go unaddressed and unremedied, leaving affected communities without access to justice.
Despite such serious allegations, Western companies and financial institutions have invested significantly in extractives projects in the name of development, and continue to do so.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has sought to illuminate these issues by analysing the human rights policies and performance of 30 extractives companies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In doing so, we aim to draw attention to the major human rights risks and impacts within the region, as well as address the lack of information around business activities. While our findings focus in on the top 10 extractives companies in Armenia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, we believe this research is indicative of broader trends in these countries, as well as the region as a whole.
See our key takeaways document for the full story.
By the numbers
Of the 30 companies profiled, we found...
Almost two thirds have some form of public statement related to human rights.
Human Rights Issues
Across the whole sample, allegations span a broad spectrum of rights concerns.
25 of 30
The vast majority of companies face allegations of violating environmental and water rights.
Twenty-three of the companies investigated have ties to investment or ownership in Western Europe, Canada, and the U.S.
Ownership and investment
The map below explores the complex global network of owners and investors behind the 30 companies we profiled. Only three of the operating companies have publicly available policies and responded to our questionnaire.
Move your mouse over the dots, bars, country names and legend to explore the company relationships and profiles of alleged abuses. Double click an operating company dot to visit the company profile page.
Digging in the shadows
Our key takeaways report on Eastern Europe & Central Asia's opaque extractives industry summarises the key issues uncovered, presents case studies and maps ownership structures.
Western ownership and investment
Review a brief snapshot of findings pertinent to investment, and select company profiles based on investment and ownership relationships.
Further information about our research project approach, and the questions we asked companies.