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Accountability

Global Witness believes that governments, companies, organisations and individuals should be held accountable for abuses or complicity in abuses involving natural resources.

We seek to end the impunity enjoyed by individuals and companies that profit from the illicit (and often illegal) exploitation of natural resources and are constantly looking for ways to hold perpetrators of natural resource-related harm to account. This involves testing the limits of current laws and legal frameworks, exposing the ‘accountability gaps’, and calling for reform.

The ultimate aim of this area of our work is to bring to an end the belief and unfortunate reality that individuals, companies and people within governments can operate above the law, and to the situation where, as with the trade in conflict minerals, existing laws are simply inadequate to deal with major global problems.

We aim to address the symptoms, causes and culture that enable a lack of accountability and prevent (legal) redress for crimes. The three mechanisms that we use to achieve these aims are:

  • Casework - facilitating and aiding precedent-setting prosecutions that clarify the use of existing laws to create accountability for crimes involving the exploitation of natural resources, human rights abuses and corruption
  • Influencing policy - encouraging investigations and prosecutions under existing laws and pushing for the creation of new laws where gaps exist
  • Business and Human Rights- creating a climate where states and business believe that it is no longer acceptable to continue this exploitation and abuse and agree to take action against it
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