Business and Human Rights

THE ISSUE Coal Mining and Adivasi Rights For decades, India’s Adivasis have borne the brunt of development-induced displacement, including through state-run coal mines. A range of protective laws have not prevented indigenous communities in India from having their lands taken, their livelihoods destroyed, and their rights trampled on as a result of business activities. Coal India Limited – the world’s largest coal miner – and its subsidiaries, central government ministries and state government authorities have failed to ensure meaningful consultation with Adivasi communities on land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement and the environmental impacts of mines. Thus, seriously affecting the lives and livelihoods of Adivasi communities. Adivasis, who constitute about 8% of India’s population, rely on their lands and forests for their livelihoods. They have been frequently displaced from their lands by laws such as the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, which does not require authorities to consult affected communities or seek the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples, as stipulated under international law and standards. Laws such as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which criminalize the dispossession of Adivasi land without consent, are rarely enforced. AMNESTY IN ACTION  We work with Adivasi communities to empower them to claim their rights under Indian and international law, and to ensure that their rights are respected by coal mining companies and protected by government authorities.