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International Law

Revisiting Transnational Corporations and Extractive Industries: Climate Justice, Feminism, and State Sovereignty

Citation:

Seck, Sara L. 2017. "Revisiting Transnational Corporations and Extractive Industries: Climate Justice, Feminism, and State Sovereignty." Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems 26: 383-413.

Author: Sara L. Seck

Annotation:

Summary:
"This Article explicitly examines the relationship between climate justice, gender, and transnational fossil fuel extractive industries by drawing upon feminist theoretical insights. First, I provide an overview of the differential impacts of climate change on women and briefly review insights from select international legal scholars who have considered gender and climate change. Second, I describe the Philippines climate Petition, a novel attempt to seek an investigation into the accountability of transnational fossil fuel companies for climate harms. Third, I examine three sets of issues arising in the Philippines climate Petition and draw explicitly upon Karen Knop’s Re/Statements: Feminism and State Sovereignty in International Law. Here, I consider how feminist approaches to international legal theory might enrich the analysis of legal doctrines fundamental to framing the issues and outcome of the Philippines Petition. Specifically, I consider three different sets of claims that emerge from a critique of the bounded, autonomous, and unified liberal subject that informs implicit understandings of state and sovereignty at international law. In conclusion, I argue that climate justice demands we take up a relational view of the state, dissolve boundaries between public and private sectors, and embrace visions of overlapping sovereignties" (Seck 2017, 385).

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, International Law, Justice

Year: 2017

Relations of Ruling: A Feminist Critique of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Violence against Women in the Context of Resource Extraction

Citation:

Simons, Penelope, and Melisa Handl. 2019. "Relations of Ruling: A Feminist Critique of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Violence against Women in the Context of Resource Extraction." Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 113-50.

Authors: Penelope Simons, Melisa Handl

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’extraction des ressources a des conséquences directes et indirectes sur les femmes, et la recherche a démontré que ces conséquences ne sont pas les mêmes pour les hommes. La violence à l’égard des femmes semble avoir des conséquences transversales. Pourtant, les États, les organismes intergouvernementaux, les différents intervenants et les groupes de l’industrie n’en ont pas tenu compte lorsqu’ils ont établi des normes pour minimiser l’effet des activités des entreprises extractives sur les droits de la personne. En utilisant les travaux de Dorothy Smith sur l’ethnographie institutionnelle, et surtout la textualité féministe, le présent article propose une analyse approfondie à plusieurs niveaux, d’un point de vue féministe, du Principes directeurs relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l’homme (PDNU), qui constitue l’un des textes centraux visant l’impunité des entreprises quant aux effets nuisibles genrés de leurs activités d’exploitation des ressources, et en particulier, de la violence faite aux femmes. Les auteures se demandent dans quelle mesure le texte du PDNU tient compte des femmes et de leurs intérêts. Pour répondre à cette interrogation, elles examinent la place que donne le texte au savoir et au traitement distinct des femmes par rapport aux activités des États et des entreprises et le situent dans le système juridique international genré issu du néolibéralisme. Elles démontrent ainsi que le PDNU est une méthode pour établir une « relation de pouvoir » déterminant le comportement des États et des entreprises envers les femmes. La structure et la nature des normes issues du texte non seulement ne reconnaissent pas les expériences des femmes et ne protègent pas leurs droits dans le domaine de l’extraction des ressources, mais aident également à perpétuer les structures patriarcales et néolibérales qui oppriment les femmes.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Resource extraction has both direct and indirect impacts on women, and research has shown that such impacts are differentiated from those on men. Violence against women appears to be a crosscutting impact. Yet states, intergovernmental organizations, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and industry groups have not taken this into consideration in the formulation of norms meant to address business-related human rights impacts. Drawing on Dorothy Smith’s work on institutional ethnography and, specifically, on feminist textuality, this article provides a close multi-level feminist analysis of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles), which are one of the central instruments designed to address corporate impunity for harm caused by business extraction in terms of their ability to address the gendered impacts of resource extraction and, in particular, violence against women. The authors consider the extent to which women and the interests of women are reflected in the text of the UN Guiding Principles, investigate the prioritization of knowledge and the differentiated treatment in the text of women compared to states and business enterprises, and situate the UN Guiding Principles within the neo-liberal gendered international legal system. They argue that UN Guiding Principles are a technology that establishes the “relations of ruling” with respect to state and business behaviour and women, and that the text, structure, and nature of these norms not only fail to acknowledge women’s experiences or to protect women’s rights in the realm of resource extraction but also help to perpetuate the patriarchal and neo-liberal structures that oppress women.

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, International Law, Justice, Impunity, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Violence

Year: 2019

Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?

Citation:

Morales, Sarah. 2019. "Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?" Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 58-90.

Author: Sarah Morales

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’expansion des industries extractives dans les territoires des peuples autochtones a été et continue d’être un processus éprouvant pour les gouvernements, l’industrie et les peuples autochtones du monde entier. Bien que les avantages économiques liés au développement des ressources soient substantiels, on donne trop souvent priorité à ces considérations au lieu de voir les effets profonds et durables des répercussions pour les collectivités, sur le plan social et culturel, en particulier pour les nations autochtones. La recherche a démontré que ces répercussions sont aggravées quand les personnes se trouvent à la croisée de plusieurs collectivités, comme c’est le cas pour les femmes autochtones. Dans le présent article, on se demandera si les lois internationales concernant les droits de la personne peuvent ou non protéger efficacement les femmes et les filles autochtones contre les effets négatifs du développement de l’industrie extractive. En réfléchissant au droit à l’autodétermination, tel qu’il est présenté dans la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones, l’auteure soutient qu’à notre époque d’extraction croissante, la meilleure façon pour faire en sorte que les lois internationales protègent les droits des femmes autochtones est de prévoir un mécanisme qui rendra opérationnelles les lois et les coutumes autochtones. Pour cela, il faut faire de la place aux femmes autochtones dans les processus de consultation afin qu’elles y partagent leur savoir et qu’elles puissent en influencer réellement le cours. La promotion des droits procéduraux des femmes autochtones est la meilleure façon d’assurer la protection de leurs droits substantiels corolaires.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The expansion of extractive industries into the territories of Indigenous peoples has been, and continues to be, a challenging process for governments, industry, and Indigenous peoples all over the world. While the economic benefits of resource development are important, too often these considerations are emphasized at the expense of appreciating the deep and lasting social and cultural effects of these impacts on communities, in particular, Indigenous communities. Research has illustrated that these impacts are compounded when one considers those individuals at the intersection of these communities, such as Indigenous women. This article will examine whether or not international human rights law can effectively protect Indigenous women and girls from the negative effects of extractive industry development. By focusing on the right to self-determination, as captured by the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples, it argues that the most effective way international law can work to protect Indigenous women in this period of increased extractive development is by providing a mechanism through which Indigenous laws and practices can be operationalized. This means creating space during consultative processes for Indigenous women to share their knowledge and influence the process in a meaningful way. The promotion of the procedural rights of Indigenous women is the best way to ensure the protection of their correlating substantive rights.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights

Year: 2019

The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution

Citation:

Mohan, Sharanya Sai. 2011. "The Battle After the War: Gender Discrimination in Property Rights and Post-Conflict Property Restitution." The Yale Journal of International Law 36 (2): 461-95.

Author: Sharanya Sai Mohan

Annotation:

Summary: 
“This note argues that property restitution programs in transitional justice settings need to correct barriers to women's property ownership. In so doing, efforts by government, civil society, and the displaced themselves to achieve transitional justice can also create long-lasting property rights reform that moves a post-conflict society toward both reconstruction and equality. After considering the existing international legal framework as well as several case studies of transitional justice schemes, this Note will argue that actors in transitional justice should take certain steps at the very beginning of the transitional process to ensure that women's property rights are protected as they return to their lives” (Mohan 2011, 463).

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, Justice, Transitional Justice, Land grabbing, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2011

The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security

Citation:

Engle, Karen. 2014. “The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security.” In Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security, edited by Gina Heathcote and Dianne Otto, 23–47. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Karen Engle

Abstract:

The issue I would like to pose in this chapter is about the grip of sexual violence on human security discourse. I do not want to address the violence itself, but to consider why many feminist — and even non-feminist — discussions about human rights and security have become inextricably connected to concerns about sexual violence, primarily but not exclusively against women. I consider here the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions on what is termed ‘human security’, and debates and media around them. I do so because I believe they are representative of an escalating emphasis on the horrors of sexual violence more generally within international human rights and humanitarian law, discourse and advocacy.

Topics: International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women

Year: 2014

Access to Justice and Corporate Accountability: A Legal Case Study of HudBay in Guatemala

Citation:

Crystal, Valerie, Shin Imai, and Bernadette Maheandiran. 2014. “Access to Justice and Corporate Accountability: A Legal Case Study of HudBay in Guatemala.” Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue Canadienne D’Études Du Développement 35 (2): 285–303.

Authors: Shin Imai, Bernadette Maheandiran, Valerie Crystal

Abstract:

This case study looks at the avenues open for addressing serious allegations of murder, rape and assault brought by indigenous Guatemalans against a Canadian mining company, HudBay Minerals. While first-generation legal and development policy reforms have facilitated foreign mining in Guatemala, second-generation reforms have failed to address effectively conflicts arising from the development projects. The judicial mechanisms available in Guatemala are difficult to access and suffer from problems of corruption and intimidation. Relevant corporate social responsibility policies and mechanisms lack the necessary enforcement powers. Canadian courts have been reluctant to permit lawsuits against Canadian parent companies; however, in Choc v. HudBay and Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, Ontario judges have allowed cases to proceed on the merits of the case, providing an important, if limited, avenue toward corporate accountability.

Keywords: mining, Latin America, Chevron, HudBay, corporate social responsibility

Topics: Corruption, Development, Extractive Industries, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, Justice, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, North America Countries: Canada, Guatemala

Year: 2014

Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy

Citation:

Broeckhoven, Nicky. 2014. “Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy.” DiGeSt. Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 1 (2): 23–38.

Author: Nicky Broeckhoven

Annotation:

Summary:
“Dangerous climate change and large-scale biodiversity loss present major challenges to the international community. As a result, these global issues have been firmly placed on the international agenda and have increasingly become the subject of international environmental law and policy. At first sight, biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as the laws and policies adopted in response to them, seem gender neutral (i.e. affecting both women and men in similar ways). However, nothing could be further from the truth. Although all of us will be affected by the impacts of environmental degradation, disparities along gender lines clearly exist. On the one hand, men and women often face different risks and vulnerabilities due to existing gender-based inequalities and pervasive discrimination (Arora-Jonsson, 2011; MacGregor, 2010; UNDP, 2012; Skinner, 2011; Raczek, Blomstrom & Owren, 2010; Dankelman, 2012). In practice, this means that women are more likely to lose out in the face of environmental degradation than men. On the other hand, both women and men play a crucial role as agents of change in dealing with these global concerns (e.g. IFAD, 2014). If we want our responses to climate change and biodiversity loss to be efficient and effective, it is paramount to integrate a gender perspective into international environmental law and policy on these issues. The available literature discussing this legal and policy dimension tends to be rather fragmented and limited in time and scope. This essay aims to reduce a gap in the literature by providing an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the extent to which gender has been integrated into the international legal frameworks on biodiversity conservation and climate change. First, the linkages between gender issues and the environment are put into context (Sections 1 and 2). Second, the author provides a critical overview of the “gender” language adopted in the frame of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Sections 3 and 4). The essay includes recent gender-related developments, and highlights the specific role of women’s and gender organizations in this process. Finally, it discusses whether a “real” integration of a gender perspective has taken place” (Broeckhoven 2014, 23-24). 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Organizations

Year: 2014

Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2015. “Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force.” In Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, edited by Maya Eichler, 187-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljak

Abstract:

The application of international law norms and shortcomings of existing regulatory regimes covering PMSCs reinforce concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment, and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatization of war on women. The first part examines current initiatives at the international level to provide a regulatory framework for PMSCs and encompasses the obligations of states (and international organizations) in respect of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and use of force. The second part outlines the influence of civil society participation (including feminist academics, women’s NGOs, and so forth) in breaking the “silence” within international organizations and international law concerning violence against women and girls and its potential influence upon the regulation of PMSCs.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, international law, human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, United Nations, PMSCs

Topics: Civil Society, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Violence

Year: 2015

Women and Private Military and Security Companies

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2010. “Women and Private Military and Security Companies.” In War By Contract: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, edited by Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, 1-25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljack

Abstract:

Lack of clarity about the application of international law norms and inadequacies of existing regulatory regimes covering private military and security companies have reinforced concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on women, both as PMSC employees and civilians. Part I highlights how armed conflict, civil unrest, occupation and transition have a detrimental effect upon the lives of women with particular reference to safety, displacement, health and economic disadvantage. Part II provides a summary of existing international humanitarian law and human rights provisions relating to women. Part III examines recent developments within the United Nations, the work of the ICRC, and international criminal law jurisprudence shaping these legal norms. Part IV considers the key recommendations of recent international and international initiatives covering PMSCs and women.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, gender, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual harassment, discrimination, international law, International Humanitarian Law, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2010

Women, Peace, and Security and the DRC: Time to Rethink Wartime Sexual Violence as Gender-Based Violence?

Citation:

Aroussi, Sahla. 2017. "Women, Peace, and Security and the DRC: Time to Rethink Wartime Sexual Violence as Gender-Based Violence?" Politics & Gender 13(3): 488-515. 

Author: Sahla Aroussi

Abstract:

During armed conflicts, women experience extensive gender harm of a physical, sexual, legal, economic, social, cultural, and political nature. Recently, however, we have witnessed unprecedented attention in international law and policy-making arenas to the specific issue of sexual violence as a strategy of warfare. This has been particularly obvious in the agenda on women, peace, and security. Since 2008, the United Nations agenda has increasingly and repeatedly focused on sexual violence in armed conflicts in several Security Council resolutions, calling on and pressuring member states and international agencies to address this issue using militaristic and legalistic strategies. In this article, looking particularly at the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I argue that the prioritization of sexual harm over other forms of gender harm has had a detrimental impact on women living in aid-dependent societies, and the international obsession with sexual harm has delivered neither justice nor security for victims in the DRC. The article concludes that in order to effectively address sexual violence, we have to rethink sexual harm as gender harm and start listening and responding to women's actual needs and priorities on the ground.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Conflict, Peace and Security, International Law, International Organizations, Justice, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

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