Human Rights & Development

Although development and human rights approaches sometimes differ, CCSI believes that both frameworks help ensure that investments lead to long-term benefits that are widely shared. CCSI thus works at the intersection of human rights and sustainable development, seeking to develop practical approaches for optimizing international investment that advances development as well as rights, and that minimizes the potential harms that can sometimes accompany large-scale investment projects.

+ Coordinating Multi-Stakeholder and Expert Dialogue

  • Negotiation Support to Resource Rich, Low-, and Middle-Income Countries
    CCSI created and manages the Negotiation Support Portal, to improve the accessibility of tools, resources and technical assistance to support host governments' planning, preparing for, negotiating, monitoring, and implementing large-scale resource and infrastructure investments, and to facilitate coordination among support providers and host governments. In addition, CCSI has launched a series of meetings of negotiation support providers to create a forum to discuss common challenges and opportunities and to facilitate greater coordination among support providers.
  • Workshop on International Investment and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    In May 2016, CCSI and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples co-hosted a workshop on indigenous peoples and investment. The workshop brought together indigenous representatives, legal practitioners, academics, and other stakeholders to discuss how international investment and trade frameworks, and the international human rights law regime can be reformed to strengthen the rights of indigenous peoples.
  • Colloquiums on Policy, Law, Contracts and Sustainable Investments
    CCSI has partnered with the Institute for Human Rights and Business to co-convene two colloquiums on Policy, Law, Contracts, and Sustainable Investments. Both events, which were held in New York and in London, focused on mapping out efforts to embed sustainability and human rights in extractives and large-scale agricultural/land deals, with a particular focus on what is... read more
  • Ad-hoc events
    CCSI regularly hosts speakers, roundtables, workshops, and events on a variety of related topics.

+ Policy and Advisory

  • Support in Analyzing Agricultural Contracts
    CCSI assists stakeholders, researchers, and advocacy organizations by analyzing agricultural contracts for human rights, fiscal, sustainable development, and environmental implications.
  • DRC: Human Rights Impact Assessments For Mining Projects
    CCSI supported local organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to carry out human rights impact assessments, as well as developing two economic models for the Sicomines mine in the DRC to compare the financial flows under the resource for infrastructure deal with a ‘traditional’ contract under the mining code of the DRC.

+ Research

  • Community Development Requirements: Domestic Laws, Best Practices, and Community Development Agreements Database
    CCSI has a growing portfolio of activities regarding community development requirements and community development agreements (CDAs) that includes: (i) mapping domestic legal requirements for community development in the context of mining projects; (ii) policy and research on best practices around CDAs and benefit sharing for extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects; and (iii) regularly maintained collection of publicly available community agreements relating to extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects.
  • Developing a Collaborative Approach to Human Rights Impact Assessments
    CCSI, in partnership with the Sciences Po Law School Clinic and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, has developed a collaborative approach to human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of private sector investment projects. Although HRIAs have become increasingly prominent in recent years, one specific challenge is the frequent lack of trust between communities and companies, which often extends to distrust of HRIAs that “the other side” has initiated. A collaborative approach to HRIAs provides an avenue to jointly undertake an HRIA that is considered credible by all sides and that helps to address the power imbalances that often exist between companies and communities around private sector projects.
  • Participation in Investor-State Disputes
    With the support of the Environmental Law Clinic at Columbia Law School and the Law School Clinic at Sciences Po, CCSI submitted an application to file a written submission as an “other person” in Bear Creek Mining Corporation v. Republic of Peru. CCSI’s submission focused on a range of issues, including: The implications of international... read more

+ Resources and Tools

  • Directory of Community Guidance on Agreements Relating to Agriculture or Forestry Investments
    While there are a number of existing resources that can assist communities and their advocates in their interactions with investors over land—from negotiating better agreements with investors, to monitoring whether investors fulfill the terms of their agreements—these resources are not always easy to find. CCSI has created a detailed Google document that lists relevant guides and other documents, provides links to the original documents, and includes brief descriptions of their content.
  • Tool to Assess the Human Rights and Environmental Implications of Land Contracts
    CCSI is developing a tool to assist stakeholders in conducting their own assessments of the human rights and environmental implications of land contracts. This tool will explain the main human rights or environmental issues that may be implicated by the underlying deals, note whether the issues are likely to be included in contracts, describe the relevant human rights norms or environmental standards, and provide an overview of best practices.
  • Community Development Requirements: Domestic Laws, Best Practices, and Community Development Agreements Database
    CCSI has a growing portfolio of activities regarding community development requirements and community development agreements (CDAs) that includes: (i) mapping domestic legal requirements for community development in the context of mining projects; (ii) policy and research on best practices around CDAs and benefit sharing for extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects; and (iii) regularly maintained collection of publicly available community agreements relating to extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects.
  • Making Resource Contracts Publicly Accessible
    CCSI, together with the World Bank and the Natural Resource Governance Institute, has developed ResourceContracts.org, an online, searchable and user-friendly database of publicly available resource contracts from around the world. In October 2015, the database was expanded to include publicly available land contracts, which are accessible through OpenLandContracts.org.
  • Support for Host Country Governments in the Planning, Preparation for, Negotiation, Implementation, and Monitoring of Large-Scale Investments
    CCSI created a Negotiation Support Portal designed to improve the accessibility of technical assistance and of useful tools and resources to assist host governments planning, preparing for, negotiating, monitoring, and implementing large-scale investments in the extractive industries, land and agriculture, and infrastructure sectors, and to facilitate coordination among support providers and host governments.

+ Teaching and Curriculum Development

  • Investment Arbitration and Human Rights
    Human rights law can affect governments’ obligations regarding treatment of foreign investors and investments, while investment arbitrations can have important implications for human rights. Nevertheless, there remains significant uncertainty regarding whether and how to integrate human rights considerations into arbitral proceedings. In December 2014, CCSI offered a CLE workshop on investment arbitration and human rights,... read more