Despite the increasing popularity of MSIs, it is clear that self-regulation through this governance model is not the answer to driving corporate accountability for matters of public concern such as human rights protection. In a report released in July 2020 by MSI Integrity, a non-profit originally dedicated to understanding the human rights impact and value of MSIs, it was found that MSIs are not effective tools for holding corporations accountable for abuses, protecting rights holders against human rights violations, or providing survivors and victims’ with access to remedy. The report showed that we need to rethink the role of MSIs and the presence of an MSI in an industry should not be a substitute for public regulation.
Human Rights Violations
Over the past few decades, the term ‘resource curse’ has entered the policy domain and has been used to describe how countries in Africa, and the Global South more generally, which are endowed with natural wealth, are unable to develop and cannot avoid declining into violent conflict. In the collective imaginary, wars in different African countries, such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Liberia have been associated with brutal conflict waged by rebels driven by the lust for 'blood diamonds.'
As a preliminary matter, based on the research that has been done so far to address the primary question as to whether there is an Asian approach to international law that is distinct from international law that was derived from the West, it is too early at this point to make a substantive conclusion that there is a unique perspective to international law that emanates from Asia.
This short piece argues that while these arguments may hold sway, host African states continue to have primary responsibility and should rise to their obligation to protect human rights of impacted communities against the harmful effects of TNCs’ activities. Moreover, the controversies surrounding the extraterritorial jurisdiction of states and the silence of international law regarding enforceable obligation on TNCs demonstrate the difficulty in embracing the newer approaches regarding the roles of home states and TNCs.