The Status of Access to Effective Remedies by Victims of Human Rights Violations Committed by Multinational Corporations in the African Union Member States
The main purpose of this paper is to document the failure and dysfunction of the existing judicial structures of many African Union’s Member States (AUMS), to address human rights violations that are often committed by Multinational Corporations (MNCs) on their territories. Concretely, it assesses the access of victims of the MNCs’ human rights abuses (in the AUMS) to effective remedies and the obstacles they face through a number of case studies. Although these victims’ cases are specific to some countries, they illustrate a general challenge faced by victims of such abuses from many AUMSs. The examination of these cases, in turn, results in the examination of the legal remedies the victims use and the obstacles they face in the pursuit of such remedies, either in their domestic jurisdictions or in other foreign national jurisdictions. The present paper also weighs the obstacles faced by the same victims in their quest for effective remedies against the concept of “African solutions to the problems of Africa.” Finally, it is suggested that the reluctance of the AUMSs to hold MNCs accountable for their human rights violations, which are often committed on their territories, and the non-redress of the same violations by other forums outside the African continent, places the onus on African regional and sub-regional mechanisms of human rights protection to get involved.
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