Corporate human rights due diligence and assessing risks of sexual violence in large-scale mining operations

Taylor and Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Human Rights, 2021, 26, (2), pp. 347-365
Issue Date:
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A growing body of literature associates large-scale mining with specific impacts on and risks for women, including systemic sexual violence. Mining companies themselves have been accused of involvement in rape and sexual assault in their operations. I focus on two international instruments developed to regulate the human rights impacts of business activities, and analyse whether the notion of human rights due diligence upon which they rest constitutes an effective tool to identify and prevent mining-related risks of sexual violence. I contend that both instruments portray sexual violence as an exceptional risk, thus discouraging mining companies from considering it in their due diligence processes. I ultimately argue that a gender approach to human rights due diligence, stronger international guidance and better stakeholder engagement would allow mining companies to develop due diligence strategies that effectively consider the specific experiences of women.
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