Solidarité internationale et luttes sociales en Afrique subsaharienne
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Multinationales - Pillage des ressources
Statement by CSOs on Extractive Industry/Human Rights in Africa
11 May 2007
Third World Network Africa - http://www.twnafrica.org
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.
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