IPIS Insights: Why businesses should assess human rights impacts from the outset of projects. SOCO International Oil Company in Virunga National Park, DRCGabriella Wass, August 2013
SOCO International, a British oil company, is prospecting for oil in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park – a World Heritage Site. For the past year, their presence has been criticised for putting a fragile environment at risk. However, more recently, their impact on human rights has also been questioned. Below, IPIS looks at why it is so vital for companies to employ rights-respectful processes, such as those advised in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, from the very beginning of the prospection stage.