IACHR sets guidelines for extractive industries

09 April 2016

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) has just published a very valuable report entitled ‘Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Descendent Communities and Natural Resources: Human Rights Protection in the Context of Extraction, Exploitation and Development Activities’. This “highlights the breadth and complexity of the problems caused by extractive and development activities in the [Americas] region, and sets forth a comprehensive framework of Inter-American Human Rights standards on the subject”.

The report spells out the specific obligations incumbent on host states and foreign states in relation to extractive activities. These should be enforceable prior to the authorisation of a project, as well as during implementation and for its whole duration. The IACHR recognises that the presence of extractive industries is increasing in Latin America as a whole, with projects generally taking place in lands and territories belonging to indigenous and afro-descendant communities. It states that “host states must adopt appropriate and positive steps with due diligence to prevent, investigate, punish and redress human rights violations that result from the execution of these projects”.

Such steps should include the adoption of a regulatory framework for the protection of the environment and human rights. For the full report and press release see:

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