'The Reality of Remedy in Mining and Community Relations: An Anonymous Case from Southeast Asia

Published by: Routledge

This chapter sits at the critical intersection of corporate social responsibility and human rights, specifically on the topic of access to remedy in the context of a foreign owned mine in Southeast Asia. The chapter presents an analysis of a mine’s operational-level grievance mechanism. An independent review of the mechanism was commissioned by the company in light of the United Nations Human Right Council’s endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights along with plans to substantially expand the current size of the mining operation. Both of these developments would result in greater pressure being placed on the mechanism itself. This chapter explores the complexities associated with establishing a project-level grievance mechanism in an operating context in which state protection of political rights remains problematic. Interviews with local-level stakeholders including company personnel, government authorities and community representatives in the near mine area provide a range of perspectives on the workings of the mechanism, and its ‘defensibility’ in light of both local experience and international standards. The chapter highlights the importance of understanding and responding to the socio-political and human rights context.