• 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.
  • Gubad Ibadoglu, activist for revenue transparency in Azerbaijan and member of the governing board of EITI, has been targeted in a government crackdown on independent groups.
    The Azerbaijan government’s offensive against human rights defenders and nongovernmental organizations should lead to its suspension from an international transparency initiative.
  • 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

Extractive Industries

  • Apr 30, 2015
    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its shareholder countries should urge the Azerbaijani government to end its crackdown on activists and independent groups during the bank’s upcoming meeting. The Asian Development Bank, a multilateral finance institution based in Manila, will hold its 48th annual board of governors meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, from May 2 to 5, 2015.
  • Apr 15, 2015
  • Apr 13, 2015
    The trial on April 13, 2015, over the biggest mine disaster in Turkey’s history is a first step towards justice for the victims.
  • Feb 15, 2015
    We write to you ahead of the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, this May. We welcome the ADB’s recognition of the importance of participation and accountability for effective development. In light of the bank’s commitment to these important principles, we write to share with you deeply disturbing developments in Azerbaijan and to recommend key steps that the ADB should take ahead of the annual meeting in Baku to respond to these developments.
  • 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.
  • Nov 21, 2014
    The bold activists around the world who stand up to corporate and government economic interests frequently face a harsh backlash. Individuals and communities are threatened, and activists may be arrested or killed with impunity in retaliation for speaking out against abuses of worker rights, hazardous environmental conditions, and displacement from large-scale infrastructure projects, to name some all-too-common examples.
  • Nov 13, 2014
    For more than 15 years, Human Rights Watch has documented the impact grand corruption has on human rights. It is our belief that it is one of the key drivers for human rights problems in many parts of the world.
  • Oct 15, 2014
    The US Justice Department’s $30 million settlement deal with the eldest son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, announced on October 10, marks the end of a decade-long US effort to pursue Teodoro (“Teodorín”) Nguema Obiang Mangue for corruption and money-laundering. Under the settlement, Teodorín will have to forfeit to the US some of the funds the Justice Department says he “shamelessly looted.” He agreed to pay without admitting any wrongdoing.
  • Oct 15, 2014
    A warning from a prominent international transparency group on October 15, 2014, gives Azerbaijan’s government a clear incentive to promptly open up space for activists to operate.
  • Oct 14, 2014