The responsibility of business enterprises to restore access to essential public service at resettlement sites

Lidewij van der Ploeg, Francis Vanclay, Ivo Lourenço

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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This chapter examines the provision of essential public services in resettlement sites associated with project induced displacement. Restoring and improving access to essential public services in resettlement sites is an important aspect of livelihood restoration of affected peoples. Project proponents executing resettlement need to comply with IFC Performance Standard 5 Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement and they need to respect the human rights of affected peoples, as proclaimed in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The IFC does not explicitly establish a requirement to restore and/or improve access to essential services and it is not observant of the human rights responsibilities of business. Especially in underserved areas, resettlement can invoke an opportunity to improve access to essential public services and contribute to the fulfillment of human rights. A case study from Mozambique reveals some challenges to the successful long term provision of essential services. A company provided high quality infrastructure and equipment which are likely not going to be maintained by the local government. There is a need for stronger cooperation, management and capacity building in the hand-over process from the proponent to the government, so that the outcomes of resettlement become more sustainable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocio-Economic Human Rights in Essential Public Services Provision
EditorsMarlies Hesselman, Antenor Hallo de Wolf, Brigit Toebes
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781315618081
ISBN (Print)9781138669659
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameHuman Rights and International Law


  • Human Rights
  • essential public services
  • Social impact assessment
  • project-induced displacement and resettlement
  • Involuntary resettlement

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