Fighting the Resource Curse: The Rights of Citizens Over Natural Resources

Wenar, Leif & Gilbert, Jeremie | July 10, 2021

Respect for the rights of peoples over natural resources is crucial for the flourishing of communities and states. This article confirms that international law ascribes robust resource rights both to indigenous peoples and to citizens of independent states. These resource rights include indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior, and informed consent and citizens’ rights that resource revenues are never used corruptly but are used first to secure their means of subsistence. Resource rights are human rights, respect for which requires substantial reforms in the practices of corporations and investors as well as in the laws of resource-importing and resource-exporting states.