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Human rights in extractives

Friday, June 1, 2018

Netherlands - The extractives sector is a risk sector for involvement in human rights abuses. Companies in this sector should have ongoing due diligence processes in place to prevent, mitigate, and remediate human rights abuses. International standards such as the United Nations Guiding Principles state that companies, as would be the case with investors in a company, have the responsibility to respect human rights. This responsibility is to prevent and mitigate abuses through their investees. The investors should also encourage the investees to provide remedy. These responsibilities in practice take shape in processes of engagement with the investees. This case study ‘Assessing the response of insurance companies to severe human rights abuses in the extractives sector’ evaluates the response of the seven largest insurance groups active in the Netherlands to a selection of ten cases with severe human rights abuses by companies in the extractives sector. Each of the insurance groups is linked with one or more of the selected extractive companies through their investments in shares and bonds of these companies. The case study assesses whether the insurance companies have used their leverage to mitigate the negative human rights impacts of the investees’ activities and to persuade the investee companies to remediate the abuses.

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