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Conflict, Resources and the Responsibility of Corporations: What responsibility do natural resources corporations that operate in conflict risk areas have to ensure that human rights are respected?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology. (Mänskliga Rättigheter)
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The thesis aims at analyzing the responsibility corporations, which are extracting valuable minerals from conflict risk and conflict affected areas, have in terms of respecting human rights. The thesis analyzes corporate responsibility mostly from a moral but also a legal perspective. In terms of the moral responsibility, the thesis has strategically chosen to examine the moral responsibility of corporations to respect human rights through the moral responsibility of their employees. The stance, that the thesis launches, is that the moral responsibility of the employees as individuals does transcend upon corporations making the business enterprise responsible for respecting human rights. The legal obligation of corporations in this matter is referred to domestic court decisions, which have ruled that corporations through business decisions have violated the human rights of affected individuals. 

The theoretical framework is based on the principle of due diligence, which has proven to be crucial when incorporating management policies and risk-assessment mechanisms within the structure of corporations. Through the analysis of the Kimberley Certification Scheme, which is a state-to-state agreement with the aim to hinder conflict-diamonds from entering into the international market, a lack of due diligence framework suitable for corporations has been revealed. The scheme is flawed as it does not provide corporations extracting diamonds from conflict risk and conflict affected areas with a due diligence framework. The thesis draws the conclusion that corporations are both morally and legally responsible to respect human rights. In addition, the Kimberley Certification Scheme is a step to hinder conflict diamonds from entering into the international market. However, the scheme must be re-examined and elaborated into a framework where due diligence is included. These measures will allow corporations to operate with clear guidelines on how to extract valuable minerals in conflict risk and conflict affected areas whilst performing due diligence. Such an adjustment will allow corporations to avoid either directly or indirectly to finance actions, which could lead to human rights abuses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 52 p.
, Jennifer Andersson
Keyword [en]
Business Ethics, Corporations, Due Diligence, Human Rights, Extraction of Valuable Natural Resources, Human Rights, Legal Responsibilities, Moral Responsibilities, Minerals
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306928OAI: diva2:1044745
Subject / course
Human Rights; Human Rights
Educational program
Master Programme in Human Rights; Master Programme in Human Rights
2016-11-14, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 5A, 751 21 Uppsala, Uppsala Universitet, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-11-07 Created: 2016-11-06 Last updated: 2016-11-07Bibliographically approved

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