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Contracts and Human Rights
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CCSI assists stakeholders, researchers, and advocacy organizations by analyzing resource contracts for human rights, fiscal, sustainable development, and environmental implications.
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.
CCSI is exploring how free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and consultation processes can be integrated into investor-state contract negotiations, taking into account the practicalities of contract negotiations, to better safeguard the land rights and human rights of members of project-affected communities.
CCSI is partnering with Namati to produce a guide for communities and their advisors regarding their interactions with investors. The guidance will help in assessing whether to negotiate with investors seeking to make land investments, and, if so, issues to consider when doing so. The guidance will build off CCSI’s research on community-investor agreements tied to agricultural and forestry investments, including the collection and analysis of more than 40 community-investor agreements.
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.
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.
In March 2017, CCSI presented a working paper titled “Articulating a Rights-Based Argument for Land Contract Disclosure” at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference. The paper explores whether and how existing state obligations under human rights law require disclosure of land contracts and more transparent contracting processes around land investments.
CCSI partnered with the Institute for Human Rights and Business to co-convene two colloquiums on Policy, Law, Contracts, and Sustainable Investments. These events helped map efforts to embed sustainability and human rights in extractives projects and land deals, with a particular focus on what is negotiated and concluded in contracts.