The role of companies in countries rich in natural resources but prone to weak governance has been at the heart of the business and human rights agenda for the past decade. Yet efforts to find constructive ways forward have only begun to emerge. Operating in such contexts poses significant dilemmas for governments and businesses. Prudent use of resources can help the state overcome poverty, but there are many instances where the combination of conflict, corruption, and corporate complicity has contributed to flagrant human rights abuses.

It is increasingly acknowledged that the mere presence of large companies can exacerbate a fragile situation that can end up contributing to conflict. But the solution is not as simple as divestment from countries experiencing conflict. Through their presence, businesses can often provide stability and help build peace. But if they act irresponsibly, they may also prolong conflict.

International Association for Advancement and Defence of Human Rights has been addressing these difficult challenges, we highlight the proactive steps companies can take to ensure they comply with the law, are not complicit with abuses, and act in a responsible manner, with enhanced due diligence.