Policy Recommendations for National Human Rights
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 | 4:00 to 5:30 pm
Research Backgrounder: Human Rights and Social Conflict in the Oil, Gas, and Mining Industries
Oxfam America | 1100 15th St, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Suite 600
A panel discussion of a new report proposing a framework for evaluating National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in countries with significant human rights abuses associated with oil, gas, and mining projects. Based on secondary research and interviews with experts on business and human rights, the report analyzes the successes and shortcomings of NHRIs in their work to resolve human rights-related social conflicts in the extractive industries. The report also includes a case study with recommendations for Ghana’s NHRI, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice. Discussants will comment on the report’s main findings.
Noémie Hailu at email@example.com
Ben Collins is a Research and Policy Campaigner with the Rainforest Action Network's Energy & Finance Program, where he focuses on analyzing and communicating the social and environmental costs of coal-fired energy. Prior to joining RAN, Ben worked in the financial sector as an environmental, social, and governance research analyst at EIRIS and KLD Research & Analytics, where he covered the industrial and utilities sectors. He has also worked on business and human rights research involving the oil and gas industries for Human Rights Watch. Ben is a board member and treasurer with the Responsible Endowments Coalition and previously served on the editorial board of Dollars & Sense magazine. He graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Social Studies and received a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Belfer International and Global Affairs fellow and a Public Service fellow.
Lesley Fleischman is an Energy Analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) Climate and Energy Program, where she conducts research and analysis to support the development of renewable energy and to highlight the environmental and economic costs of coal. Prior to joining UCS, Lesley worked in the financial sector as an environmental, social, and governance research analyst at KLD Research & Analytics, where she covered the energy and mining sectors. Lesley has also worked as a research assistant in the Environmental and Natural Resource Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. She also interned at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she assessed risks associated with projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. She graduated from Haverford College with a BA in History and Economics and received a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Augustine Niber is the Executive Director of the Center for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), a not-for-profit public interest and human rights non-governmental organization (NGO), which was established in 1999 with the aim of making justice accessible to the poor and marginalized individuals and communities in Ghana. The Mining Communities Human Rights and Legal Support Program, one of CEPIL’s key initiatives, is designed to achieve the broad objective of public and private accountability, and more specifically, the protection of communities’ rights that are affected by large corporate mining in Ghana. Under this programme, CEPIL has provided free legal (Pro bono) services including court room representation to communities negatively impacted by mining companies in Ghana. CEPIL has won or successfully settled out of court for several of the cases brought on behalf of mining communities. The cases have resulted in the payment of enhanced compensation packages to these communities for the violation of their fundamental human rights, such as, the destruction of their farm lands, houses and livelihood. CEPIL also provides legal literacy, human rights education, and training to these communities to enable them to express their voices and demand their rights.
Scott Busby is currently serves as Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC where he is involved in the Bureau’s work on internet freedom, business and human rights, political-military issues and human rights in multilateral institutions. Before that, he was Director for Human Rights on the National Security Staff in the White House from 2009 to 2011 where he managed a range of human rights and refugee issues. (He held a similar position under President Clinton from 1997 to 2000.) He has previously served as Coordinator of the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, as Director of the Office of Policy and Resource Planning at the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in the U.S. Department of State, and as counsel at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Scott holds advanced degrees in sociology and law from the University of California at Berkeley and received his B.A. from Amherst College.
Ian Gary is Senior Policy Manager for Extractive Industries with Oxfam America. Prior to joining Oxfam in 2005, Ian was Strategic Issues Advisor – Extractive Industries at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) from 1999 to 2005. He has held positions with the Ford Foundation as well as international development organizations in the U.S. and Africa. Ian is the author of the Oxfam America report Ghana’s Big Test: Oil’s Challenge to Democratic Development (2009); co-author, with Terry Lynn Karl of Stanford University, of the CRS report Bottom of the Barrel: Africa’s Oil Boom and the Poor (2003); and co-author of Chad’s Oil: Miracle or Mirage? (2005), co-authored with Nikki Reisch and issued by CRS and Bank Information Center. Ian has been a frequent commentator on extractive industries issues in major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, BBC, NPR and other outlets. He has testified before Congress and given presentations at the World Bank, Royal Institute of International Affairs, United Nations, U.S. State Department and Harvard University, among other venues. Ian was an advisor with the World Bank Extractive Industries Advisory Group from 2005-2009. He has conducted field research on extractive industries issues in Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Peru and Cambodia. He holds a MA degree from the University of Leeds in the Politics of International Resources and Development and a BA from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.