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Human rights in the age of economic globalization: the case of the Mogalakwena mine, South Africa

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Abstract
The mineral industry is one of the strongholds of South Africa’s emerging economy. Nevertheless, the country is increasingly facing the adverse effects of unsustainable mining projects that insufficiently take into account the social and environmental impact of the quest for economic growth. One approach to analysing this problem takes the perspective of human rights law. Through the study of a particular case where local communities are opposing these adverse impacts of mining, this paper explores the responsibilities of the various actors involved, both state and non-state actors. Such an analysis demonstrates that holding South Africa to account for its human rights obligations is a necessary but insufficient step in establishing a comprehensive framework that ensures that powerful corporate actors respect human rights. The international human rights system can learn lessons from the South African experience, where the judiciary plays an important role in making rights real for the poor and vulnerable groups that are directly exposed to the adverse impacts of unsustainable development.
Keywords
Natural resource extraction, South Africa, Local communities, Judicial remedies, Business and human rights

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Chicago
Verdonck, Lieselot. 2015. “Human Rights in the Age of Economic Globalization: The Case of the Mogalakwena Mine, South Africa.” Human Rights and International Legal Discourse 9 (1): 34–66.
APA
Verdonck, Lieselot. (2015). Human rights in the age of economic globalization: the case of the Mogalakwena mine, South Africa. HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DISCOURSE, 9(1), 34–66.
Vancouver
1.
Verdonck L. Human rights in the age of economic globalization: the case of the Mogalakwena mine, South Africa. HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DISCOURSE. 2015;9(1):34–66.
MLA
Verdonck, Lieselot. “Human Rights in the Age of Economic Globalization: The Case of the Mogalakwena Mine, South Africa.” HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DISCOURSE 9.1 (2015): 34–66. Print.
@article{5838703,
  abstract     = {The mineral industry is one of the strongholds of South Africa{\textquoteright}s emerging economy. Nevertheless, the country is increasingly facing the adverse effects of unsustainable mining projects that insufficiently take into account the social and environmental impact of the quest for economic growth. One approach to analysing this problem takes the perspective of human rights law. Through the study of a particular case where local communities are opposing these adverse impacts of mining, this paper explores the responsibilities of the various actors involved, both state and non-state actors. Such an analysis demonstrates that holding South Africa to account for its human rights obligations is a necessary but insufficient step in establishing a comprehensive framework that ensures that powerful corporate actors respect human rights. The international human rights system can learn lessons from the South African experience, where the judiciary plays an important role in making rights real for the poor and vulnerable groups that are directly exposed to the adverse impacts of unsustainable development.},
  author       = {Verdonck, Lieselot},
  issn         = {1783-7014},
  journal      = {HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DISCOURSE},
  keyword      = {Natural resource extraction,South Africa,Local communities,Judicial remedies,Business and human rights},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {34--66},
  title        = {Human rights in the age of economic globalization: the case of the Mogalakwena mine, South Africa},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2015},
}