Members of the Sudanese Army in Jawa village, in East Jebel Marra (South Darfur), 9 kilometers West Deribat. The area is controled by the Government Forces but most of the population fled some days ago due to the clashes.Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID

When multinational corporations operate in conflict-affected areas – whether through their own activities or through business dealings – they may become an actor in the conflict. They may be profiting from or contributing to a conflict, whether knowingly or not. But if they operate in a responsible and conflict-sensitive way, they can play a positive role in the peace-building process.

With local partners, SOMO exposes the impacts of corporate activities in conflict-affected areas. We advocate for implementation of relevant normative frameworks, such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, designed specifically to prevent human rights and environmental abuses in conflict-affected areas.

We aim to empower local organisations and communities in conflict-affected areas to critically analyse the impact of the private sector and help them hold corporations to account for their conduct. We research corporate business strategies and the role of investors, and study the incentives given by states to attract foreign direct investment in conflict-affected areas. We press states to adopt and enforce legislation that prioritises the public interest over the private interest of foreign investors

read more less
the bigger picture

Natural Resources

Many of the world’s poorest countries are rich in natural resources. In the absence of democratic control, these resources are being recklessly exploited, destroying local communities and ecosystems, threatening the health of the planet and contributing to the widening gap between rich and poor.

Research and awareness-raising

SOMO investigates companies and their investors in the agribusiness, energy and extractives sectors with a close eye on the complex web that link these sectors to each other and to numerous social and environmental problems, including human rights violations and armed conflict.

In collaboration with partners, we investigate the activities and policies of corporations and financiers involved in large-scale land grabs and destructive agribusiness, extractives, energy and infrastructure projects. We pay particular attention to the conduct of multinational corporations in conflict-affected areas, raising awareness on their role and responsibilities and pushing them to act responsibly and in a conflict-sensitive way.

Democratic control over natural resources

SOMO advocates transparent and democratic control over natural resources which contributes to more sustainable and people-centred resource use. SOMO supports local communities in claiming and defending human rights, including the right to make decisions about projects affecting their land, known as Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
Our research builds the case for a transition towards more democratic systems of energy provision based on sustainable use of natural resources.

read more
Updates on this topic