African organisations demand human rights accountability in extractive sectorPublished by MAC on 2007-05-11
African organisations demand human rights accountability in extractive sector
11th May 2007
Third World Network-Africa (a MAC editorial member) organised a training workshop on Extractive Industry and Human Rights in Africa from May 10 to 11th, 2007, in Ghana.
It came ahead of the 41st Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, and was intended to generate information about the impacts of extractive sector activity on human rights, and generate instruments and principles that could be used for extractive sector advocacy, including the promotion of community rights, livelihood and environmental sustainability.
The following important statement came out of the workshop.
We, 45 representatives of communities affected by mining, oil, gas and forestry, representatives of National and International Networks, Human Rights and Extractive Industry advocacy NGOs, from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, The Gambia, and Zambia participating in workshop on Extractive Industries and Human Rights in Africa organised by Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Af) from May 10-11th, 2007, Accra, Ghana;
Having examined and discussed the impacts of the upsurge of mining, oil, gas and timber on people living in communities affected by extractive sector activity, and the consequence on human and people’s rights;
Aware of the vast minerals, timber and oil potential in Africa and the opportunities such potentials present for transforming the social and economic conditions of the people into building their productive capacity and improving quality of lives;
Having experienced and noticed a pattern of systematic increase of human and people’s rights violations in the process of extracting natural resources in particular minerals, oil, gas and timber especially in conflict situations in Africa;
Deeply concerned that continuing extraction of natural resources in particular mining, oil, gas and timber by multinational companies and their agents as well as the states and international bodies have resulted in serious and systematic violations of human rights which include plunder, unlawful exploitation and trade and investment, killing, organised crime, rape, displacement and loss of livelihood;
Appalled by the slow response of national and international institutions and governments to deal with the pattern of human and people’s rights violations;
Agitated by the weaknesses of our national and international policy and legislation to adequately regulate activities of multinational companies that extract natural resources;
Concerned about the weaknesses of human rights protection in our respective national and legal systems;
Recognizing that the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights require the promotion and protection of human rights and obligate member states to promote the socio economic development of Africa and raise the standard of living of African people;
Further recognizing that the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in its preamble affirm the right to development and that civil and political rights cannot be disassociated from economic, social and cultural rights in their conception as well as universality and the satisfaction of economic, social and cultural rights is interdependent from for the enjoyment of civil and political rights;
That the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights guarantees the protection and promotion of individual and collective rights;
That international and regional standards including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights expressly states in Article 21 that all peoples shall freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources, which shall be exercised in the exclusive interest of the people, and in no case shall the people, be deprived of it and in case of spoliation, the dispossessed people shall have a right to lawful recovery of its properties as well as to an adequate compensation;
Recalling that the African Charter states in Article 24 that all people shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development;
We resolve to:
1. Work together and with communities, the media and partners from the global south and north to promote, uphold human rights values, and also expose alleged human rights violations.
2. Exchange information and offer solidarity to alleged victims of human rights abuses.
3. Work with communities to improve their understanding of human rights principles. Request our respective governments to:
1. Ensure that human rights considerations are integrated in national policies, especially environmental, mining and forestry policies; 2. Ensure that there is a broader and deeper level of consultation with civil society organisations and local communities on development policies, programmes, and projects on the extradition and management of natural resources; 3. Build the capacities of National Human Rights Institutions to enable them promote and protect human rights; 4. Respect and uphold the rights of local communities affected by extractive sector activity
Call, on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to adopt a resolution to:
1. Condemn the pattern of human rights violations resulting from extractive sector activity, in particular mining, oil, gas and timber by state and non state actors including multinational companies in Africa.
2. Investigate into human rights abuseses resulting from extractive sector activity
3. Appoint a Special Rapporteur on the extractive sector and human rights.
1. George Awudi Friends of the Earth Ghana
2. Kyeretwie Opoku Civic Response, Accra, Ghana
3. Leonar Shang – Quartey National Coalition Against Privatisation of Water
4. Daudi S Yahaya Black Volta – Lawra Recognisance Area, Wa / Upper west Region, Ghana
5. Kwesi Blay Prestea / Western Region, Ghana
6. Chritine Akorlie Ghana
7. Peter Yeboa Tarkwa / Western Region, Ghana
8. Kuffour A Richard Bontefufoum Committee / Mpatuom, Kumasi, Ghana
9. Silas Siakor Sustainable Development Institute, Monrovia, Liberia
10. Stephen Gyamprah Chirano / Western Region, Ghana
11. Theophilus Mensah Chrinano, Sefwi-Akoti / Western Region, Ghana
12. Durrel Halleson Centre for Environment and Development, Yaoundé, Cameroon
13. Donkris Mevuta Friends of the Nation, Takoradi / Western Region, Ghana
14. Edward K. Akuoko Obousi, Ashanti Region, Ghana
15. Richard Hato-Kuevor Geology Department, University of Ghana
16. Jones Likokoto Citizens for a Better Environment, Kitwe, Zambia
17. Bwalya Mpange African Initiative on Mining Environment and Society
18. Richard Adjei Poku Ahafo Kenyasi / Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana
19. Emelia Kyeremeh Ahafo Kenyasi / Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana
20. Evelyne Asabere Ahafo Hewdiem / Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana
21. Ama Oforiwaa Boamah Centre for Environmental Law and Development, Accra, Ghana
22. Anna Antwi Action Aid International –Ghana, Accra, Ghana
23. Benjamin Annan Sanso, Obuasi / Ashanti Region, Ghana
24. Clement Koffi Scott Nzema East / Western Region, Ghana
25. Barikisu Shaidow Network for Women Rights, Ghana
26. Mohammed Shardow Media Foundation for West Africa, Accra, Ghana
27. Prince Osei Kansah Bibiani / Western Region, Ghana
28. Mike Anane League of Environmental Journalist, FIAN, Accra, Ghana
29. Hannah Foster African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, Banjul, Gambia
30. John Opoku Barrister at Law / Human Rights Activist, Accra, Ghana
31. Dominic Ayinie Centre for Public Interest Law, Accra, Ghana
32. Daniel Owusu-Korangteng Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining
33. Kathleen Boohene Third World Network-Africa, Accra, Ghana
34. Lindlyn Tamufor Third World Network-Africa, Accra, Ghana
35. Abdulai Darimani African Initiative on Mining Environment and Society, Accra, Ghana
From: THE PRE-MEETING ON EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN AFRICA TO THE 41ST ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS, ORGANISED BY THIRD WORLD NETWORK-AFRICA, MAY 10-11TH, 2007 IN ANGE HILL HOTEL, ACCRA, GHANA.