• Whether it is an oil company that relies on abusive private security forces, a tech company that censors or spies on users at the behest of a repressive government, or a corrupt government that siphons off the wealth of its nation, businesses and other economic activities can have negative impacts on people’s rights. Human Rights Watch investigates these and other situations to expose the problems, hold institutions accountable, and develop standards to prevent these activities. This work has included research and advocacy on human rights problems caused by corruption in resource-rich countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Nigeria, and Burma.
  • Lower Brule Tribal Government Building.
    Millions of dollars in public funds are missing in the impoverished Lower Brule Sioux reservation. The Lower Brule Tribal Government should account for the missing public funds and abide by its own rules on openness.
  • Without Rules: A Failed Approach to Corporate Accountability

    By Christopher Albin-Lackey, senior researcher

    Some of the most powerful and sophisticated actors on the world stage are companies, not governments. In 2011 alone, oil and gas behemoth ExxonMobil generated revenues of US$467 billion—the size of Norway’s entire economy. Walmart, the world’s third-largest employer with more than 2 million workers, has a workforce that trails only the militaries of the United States and China in size.

    Many global businesses are run with consideration for the well-being of the people whose lives they touch. But others—whether through incompetence or by design—seriously harm the communities around them, their workers, and even the governments under which they work.

    Read the full essay >>

Reports

Business

  • Feb 23, 2015
    The World Bank should fully address serious human rights issues raised by the bank’s internal investigation into a project in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the bank’s vice president for Africa. The bank’s response to the investigation findings attempts to distance the bank from the many problems confirmed by the investigation and should be revised. The World Bank board of directors is to consider the investigation report and management’s response, which includes an Action Plan, on February 26, 2015.
  • Feb 23, 2015
  • Feb 18, 2015
    Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to submit comments on the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communications for the special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression’s 2015 report to the Human Rights Council. Human Rights Watch is an independent global organization with a presence in more than 90 countries, investigating human rights abuses, publishing findings, and working with local partners to promote respect for and adherence to human rights obligations around the world.
  • Feb 6, 2015
  • Feb 2, 2015
    The decision by the World Bank’s internal watchdog not to investigate the link between the bank’s loans and Uzbek government-organized forced labor is alarming, the Cotton Campaign said today.
  • Jan 14, 2015
    Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to review the draft IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. Below are recommendations based on research conducted by Human Rights Watch in various countries. Human Rights Watch has carried out extensive research on business and human rights issues, including on human rights and mining in India, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Ghana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mali, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Jan 12, 2015
    On South Dakota’s impoverished Lower Brule Sioux reservation, $1.2 million of US government funding dedicated to providing the tribe with drinking water has disappeared. Roughly $2.6 million in federal money earmarked for education and other social programs went missing – after which the reservation’s school system had to be overhauled due to poor performance.
  • Jan 12, 2015
    More children work in agriculture than in any other industry in the world. But the scale and complexity of the problem is no excuse for tolerating a practice that traps children in multi-generational cycles of poverty, or, worse, leaves them injured, maimed, or dead.
  • Jan 12, 2015
    Millions of dollars in public funds are missing in the impoverished Lower Brule Sioux reservation. The Lower Brule Tribal Government should account for the missing public funds and abide by its own rules on openness.
  • Jan 7, 2015
    When for-profit companies make money off the criminal justice system through privatization of prisons, it often triggers serious public debate. But there has been precious little scrutiny of local governments that use courts to make money for themselves. We should all be paying closer attention, because that kind of for-profit justice often means shifting public costs onto a community’s poorest members and creating perverse incentives for courts to ratchet up the pain.