HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
Working Group ‘Human Rights, Codevelopment and Migrations’
20th September 2015
In several African, Latin American, Asian, Central and Eastern European countries, the exploitation of
natural resources (oil & gas, minerals, forestry, agricultural land, etc.,) is subcontracted to companies,
some of which have their headquarters in Europe. The Human Rights Committee of the INGO
Conference pays attention to the way large companies operating in these countries implement the texts
that guarantee the implementation of the fundamental and human rights – whether civic, political,
economic, social or cultural – of the local inhabitants.
The Committee has established a working group called “HUMAN RIGHTS, CODEVELOPMENT
with the object of monitoring the universal respect for human rights in their entirety, especially the
rights stated in the European Social Charter so that the way in which companies exploit these natural
resources in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe is carried out in the full and
absolute respect of the interests and rights of the local populations so that they a enjoy a real
improvement of their living conditions.
Briefly, this working group is taking steps to ensure that: the way in which these industrial activities are
implemented, managed and organised by companies legally registered in Europe and/or quoted on
European stock exchanges comply with the principles of human rights obligations, wherever these
industries establish plants:
- The European Convention of Human Rights
- The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- The UN Guiding Principles with respect to Business and Human Rights, supported by the
Declaration of the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe,
- Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization.
- and, especially, all the articles of the Revised European Social Charter.
We are preparing a recommendation for the governments of the member States of the Council of
Europe in order for them to :
monitor the way large companies with headquarters in their countries respect human rights in
all the countries where they are present.
Make a concerted fight against corruption and tax havens which ruin democracy
In order to support this move, the members of the Working Group “HUMAN RIGHTS,
CODEVELOPMENT & MIGRATIONS” call on NGOs, employer organizations and trades unions
to provide us with examples of good practice seen by local groups, especially in the field of extractive
industries, since the Working Group recommends the adoption of the standards of the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) with respect to the transparency of payments to governments
in the Council of Europe member countries where these industries are located.
Likewise, the transposition of the directives 2013/34/EU and 2013/50/EU in the legislation of EU
member countries, during 2015, obliges extractive industry companies with headquarters in the
European Union and foreign companies quoted on EU stock exchanges to declare in Europe payments
made to governments in the countries where their industries operate on a country by country basis.
The members of the Working Group “HUMAN RIGHTS, CODEVELOPMENT &
MIGRATIONS” invite you to participate in their work whose objective is to eliminate poverty in
countries rich in resources but poor in well-being, especially in Central and Eastern Europe but also in
Africa, Latin America and Asia. Do not hesitate to contact us to suggest ways in which we can work
together. The concrete actions that your NGOs carry out in the field will be very useful. We suggest
you look at the attached power point that describes the original project of our Working Group
and we invite you to participate in our next meeting on Wednesday 30th September from 2pm to
4pm in Salle 2 of the Palais.
We thank you for reading this document and we look forward to receiving your cooperation and
participation in this project, especially by providing us with details of the consequences of the
installation of industries in these countries.
Hugo CASTELLI-EYRE, European Network Church on the Move EN-RE