Resource Development and Sámi Rights in the Sápmi Region: Integrating Human Rights Impact Assessment in Licensing Processes

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
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  • 1 Finland
  • 2 Finland

In recent years, the Sápmi region has witnessed an expansion of resource extraction activities. The enjoyment of human rights of the Sámi indigenous people will likely be challenged by extractive industries, unless effective measures are implemented to mitigate the possible effects of these activities. In this article, we explore the possibility of integrating human rights impact assessment (hria) in license granting mechanisms such as environmental impact assessment (eia). Our goal is to explore what international standards are available for conducting hrias and whether these would bring benefit to license granting processes. Based on our analysis, we recommend that the integration of hrias, particularly concerning Sámi rights, in response to resource developments in the Sápmi region, would on one hand bring a stronger normative value to such processes, offering a greater legal protection for Sámi, and on the other hand offer strengthened trust between communities and the companies, in resource extractions.