Mining and Environmental Human Rights in Papua New Guinea
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Whether transnational corporations should be held accountable for actions which violate human rights is a question which cannot be answered without consideration of new configurations of power that enable corporations to evade regulatory control.2 Where the state is an effective regulator of transnational corporations, its own laws will be more practically enforced than the general principles of human rights (Muchlinski 2001, p. 45). But with the spread of neo-liberal political and economic policy, states have become markedly less effective as regulatory bodies, often transferring the responsibilities for monitoring and compliance to the corporations under review. Similarly, when state-corporate relationships take the form of economic partnerships, the regulatory functions of the state may fall victim to conflict of interest. Pressure from multilateral agencies may also affect state regulation of transnational corporations. Where the regulatory inclinations and capacities of the state are constrained or diminished, new ways to enforce corporate accountability are required. The recent rise of NGOs that monitor the behavior of transnational corporations is one response to these conditions (Kirsch 2002). Declarations of human rights may also constitute important political resources for persons and communities who are adversely affected by transnational corporations. The enforcement of the principles of human rights may help to regulate corporate behavior in the absence of responsible state control.
KeywordsIndigenous People Rain Forest Mine Waste Indigenous Community Environmental Impact Assessment
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