While international and global guidance documents set out health obligations for extractive industries (EIs), these standards, including UN conventions, may be voluntary if they are not included in national laws, unless the national constitutions specifically provide otherwise. Given the spread of EIs across the ESA region, it would be important to ensure that corporate duties in relation to health are upheld across the region, including through regional guidance to harmonise laws. This document was produced by EQUINET through Training and Research Support Centre and with support from Medico International. It aims to inform policy dialogue to improve the legal frameworks for the duties and corporate social responsibility of EIs in the ESA region. It presents evidence to support policy dialogue and health advocacy. It reviews the literature on EIs and health in ESA countries, explores key guidance principles/ standards on health in EIs, and analyses from review of laws how far they are contained in domestic legislation of ESA countries. Using good practice in existing ESA laws and international guidance, the document proposes the content for regional guidance for policy and law in the region. As is being implemented in other regions of Africa, there is scope for regional guidance and harmonisation of laws relating to EIs, including in relation to health. While no single law in ESA countries addresses all aspects of international guidance on protection and health and social welfare in EIs, in combination the laws in ESA countries provide clauses that could form the basis of such regional guidance. Drawing from different ESA laws legal guidance is proposed for health and social protection covering: 1. Award of prospecting rights/licenses and EI agreements; 2. Resettlement of affected communities due to mining activities; 3. OHS for employed workers and contractors in the mining sector; 4. Health benefits for workers, families and surrounding communities; 5. Environment, health and social protection for surrounding communities; 6. Fiscal contributions towards health and health services; 7. Stimulation of forward and backward links with local sectors and services supporting health; 8. Post-mine closure obligations for public health; and for 9. Governance of these issues, including for good corporate governance practices, public transparency and accountability, constructive dialogue, reporting and oversight, to foster a relationship of confidence and mutual trust between EIs and the societies in which they operate.
Values, policies and rights, Health equity in economic and trade policies, Public-private mix, Governance and participation in health
Title of publication Diss paper 108: Corporate responsibility for health in the extractive sector in East and Southern Africa
Date of publication
Corporate responsibility for health in the extractive sector in East and Southern Africa’, EQUINET Discussion paper 108, Training and Research Support Centre, EQUINET: Harare.
extractive industries, laws; regional guidance; east and southern Africa
East and southern Africa region
Equinet Publication Type