1. Global developments and CSR

1.1.Developing an international framework for CSR [page 13]

Measures to prevent deforestation and forest degradation can safeguard the climate and at the same time promote the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

2. The State Duty to Protect Human Rights

2.1 The State as legislator

The Minerals Act [page 19]

In Norway as in other countries, conflicts may arise between commercial activity and indigenous peoples’ rights. Protection of Sami rights is laid down in the Constitution and other legislation, and obligations towards the Sami people follow from international conventions, particularly Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and ILO Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. In Norway, Sami rights are also enshrined in special legislation and through consultation procedures between the public authorities and Sámediggi (the Sami Parliament). As part of its follow-up of ILO Convention 169, Norway is conducting a dialogue with ILO on how the convention is being implemented in Norwegian law, including in the area of mineral resources. In the Official Norwegian Report 2007:13 on legislation pertaining to the Sami, the Sami Rights Commission reviewed measures relating to mineral resources and in legislation that regulates mineral extraction. Some of the commission’s proposals were evaluated in connection with the preparatory work on the Minerals Act. The Act, which replaced five existing acts, entered into force on 1 January 2010. As part of the Government’s follow-up of the report from the Sami Rights Commission,13 the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries will evaluate proposals for amendments to the Minerals Act.

3. The Corporate responsibility to respect human rights

3.2 Responsible Business Conduct [pages 31-32]

The 13th principle clarifies what companies’ responsibility to respect human rights involves:

An enterprise may cause or contribute to adverse human rights impacts if for example …the living conditions of the local community that are directly affected by the company’s operations decline without prior explanation from or dialogue with the relevant parties, including the local authorities. Impacts on the climate and the environment resulting from the enterprise’s activities, for example through land use, exploitation of natural resources, greenhouse gas emissions or releases of hazardous substances, may also have adverse impacts on a broader range of human rights, such as minority and indigenous people’s rights or the right to life, health, food, water or adequate housing. If a company is responsible for such impacts, it is also responsible for addressing them.

Acquiring expertise for risk identification and assessment [page 33]

The 18th principle outlines procedures for risk management based on internal or external expertise and dialogue with stakeholders:

It may be necessary to conduct a dialogue on due diligence with stakeholders. This will give the company a better picture of which rights may be under pressure and what can be done to prevent potential misunderstandings or conflicts. Dialogue can help to clarify expectations and reduce conflict.

The Rights of Indigenous People [page 34]

Indigenous peoples have a right to be consulted on projects that will have an impact on land where they live and earn their livelihoods (for example reindeer husbandry). The most important international standards concerning indigenous rights and the right to be consulted are the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. In many countries, indigenous peoples are largely excluded from political, economic and cultural life, and indigenous groups have a lower score than other population groups on many standard-of-living indicators, for example health and education. Indigenous peoples are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.