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Jacky Mandelbaum and Jennifer Loutit

Investments in the extractive industries are large scale, long term and bring in large rents. They can have a transformative impact on the citizens of the host country, with the potential to be translated into sustainable development. However, they too often become a source of corruption, cause significant environmental disturbance, require huge amounts of water and energy, place workers in some of the most risky workplaces, and cause social degradation. The effect on human rights and local communities is significant. This chapter examines the underlying issues that trigger human rights impacts, the initiatives that have been developed to overcome them and how stakeholders are engaging with the important questions. It looks at the overarching issue of the governance of extractive industry investments, as well as the particular areas where human rights abuses most often occur, including artisanal and small-scale mining, resettlement, security and labour. Finally, the chapter considers more closely the affected communities and how their rights may be better taken into account.