Over the past few years ‘Business and Human Rights’ have become as one of the important agenda items in IPAC’s pursuit of its mission. The engagement started with our work in North East India on the issue of oil extraction in the states of Manipur and Nagaland. Our experience in this area suggests that companies have an enormous impact on people’s lives and the communities in which they operate, sometimes even if the actual work has not yet started. Sometimes the impact is seen as positive – jobs creation, improved lives with new technology and so on. This is what is promised to the communities when the plans are made of any business enterprise. However, as per IPAC research in extractive sector, there are numerous instances when corporations exploit weak and poorly enforced domestic regulation with consequent devastating effect on local communities.
Although there are mechanisms at national or international level to prevent corporate human rights abuses or to hold companies to account, but these are seldom respected and implemented as many of such mechanisms are recommendatory. IPAC hopes to work to make an impact in this area.