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13.11.2012 Global Compact Network Russia Opens the Discussion on Involuntary Resettlement

On November 13 the Global Compact Network Russia hosted the seminar Involuntary resettlement: key issues, standards and practices. Representatives of business community, non-profit organizations and academic institutions, UN specialists and international experts met to discuss involuntary resettlement in the context of socio-economic impact and respect for human rights.


The seminar aimed to provide better understanding of existing international and Russian standards with regard to involuntary resettlement, engage in dialogue and share existing practices in this area. The seminar also showcased effort taken by the private sector to enhance implementation of the human rights principles.


Development of large-scale infrastructure projects frequently leads to land expropriations/ acquisition and sometimes results in involuntary resettlement. This is particularly relevant to the extractive and infrastructure industries including oil, gas, coal, hydropower, construction, tourism as well as agriculture. Involuntary resettlement implies both physical displacement (relocation or loss of shelter) and economic displacement (loss of assets or access to resources that leads to loss of income or livelihood) as a result of project-related land expropriations/ acquisition. In addition, involuntary resettlement is highly sensitized as it often involves vulnerable population groups. With this regard, involuntary resettlement was recognized at the seminar as one of the essential issues in the human rights field.


The discussion underscored the relevance of this issue to Russia. Seminar participants considered an increasing number of project examples that require land expropriations/ acquisition in order to be implemented in Russia. These covered the ongoing construction in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2014, development of oil and gas projects throughout the country, construction of highways, hydropower projects, residential development and many others.


Today, Russian companies actively take part in global initiatives, which encourage socially responsible business, and apply international standards in their practices. Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd., the leading participant of the Global Compact Network Russia, shared its innovative experience and presented the case of the Sakhalin-2 Project.

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