Liability of transnational corporations for indigenous peoples human rights violations
ForfatterBekele, Workabeba Woldemelekot
It was around the beginning of November 2006. I was reading a book by Prof. Koen De Feyter World Development Law where I first see the term ‘indigenous peoples’. Two of the cases summarized in the book had taken my attention, i.e., the case of Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni indigenous community of Nicaragua, and Ogoni people of Nigeria. The cases were brought at different regional human right courts of America and Africa, respectively. However, both cases involved TNCs complicity in human rights violations of indigenous communities namely, Sol del Caribe S.A. (SOLCARSA) in Nicaragua, and Royal Shell in Nigeria. Both allegations were also brought against the respective states. I keep wondering why the TNCs escape liability which becomes the basic research question for this thesis. The thesis is a critical legal analysis of TNCs human rights liability from the perspective of indigenous peoples human rights violations. The study analyses the problematic situation of TNCs liability in existing state-centered system of international law. It observes the particular weakness of the current system of international law when the human rights victims of TNCs happened to be indigenous peoples. The study also analyses the effectiveness of different attempts made by international organization, corporations and civil society groups towards imposing human rights liability on TNCs. Despite the lack of legal bite and enforceability, the study founds the lack of sensitivity to indigenous peoples human rights in such emerging regulatory and voluntary initiatives which are categorized broadly as soft-laws, self-regulations and social initiatives. This study argues for a binding international law on TNCs as an ultimate solution, but it also equally argues for increased concern to indigenous peoples human rights as an indispensable issue in corporate human rights discourse. In this regard the thesis offers some general and transitional policy measures.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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