Access to justice for victims of business-related human rights violations, including harm caused by transnational resource extraction projects, remains a pressing global concern. A 2018 study by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) notes that such victims “continue to struggle to achieve effective remedies for the harm they have suffered”. This is despite the development and widespread endorsement by states and businesses of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Local communities, for their part, consider investor responsibility a necessary part of the fabric of international law and politics. While the AU works towards framing business and human rights in Africa along with global developments regarding a treaty on business and human rights and treaties such as the Morocco/Nigeria BIT, African peoples and communities continue to adopt available mechanisms as avenues for communicating their positions on these important issues and exercising agency on a subject that is of utmost importance to their wellbeing.
This symposium includes contributions that analyze state and investor responsibility for wrongful acts, and responsibility for the development of sustainable extractive regimes, in African countries. The contributions are timely interventions at a time when Africa’s regional institutions and states are developing mechanisms for responding to challenges presented by the extractive industries.