The NGO Mining Working Group (MWG) works for improvements in national and international law, policy, and practice to ensure that extractive activity:

  • Meets and upholds the highest human rights standards – civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights;
  • Cedes to ecological limits and planetary boundaries, takes all possible measures to minimize negative impacts at every stage, and includes effective guarantees for maximum restoration; and,
  • Contributes to just and responsible economic, social, and sustainable development for the host country, with a priority for the local communities most directly affected.


The NGO Mining Working Group (MWG) is a coalition of NGOs that, in partnership with our members and affected local communities, advocates at and through the United Nations for human and environmental rights as related to extractive industries. The MWG addresses unjust and unsustainable extractive practices and policies through the lens of the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples and Earth’s carrying capacity.

The MWG promotes a human- and ecological- rights framework as the foundation for sustainable and just natural-resource management. The MWG calls for just and transparent international policies, advocates for national laws and practices that meet the highest international standards and obligations, and calls for intervention to address violations. In this context the Group also advocates for the use of economic benefits of resource extraction for the holistic and long-term social, economic, and sustainable development needs of local communities.


To this end, the Mining Working Group engages in the following strategies:

  1. Documenting unjust and unsustainable extractive practices as violations of human rights and as unsustainable development.
  2. Advocating within the UN system and with UN agencies for action to address the underlying causes of unjust and unsustainable extractives practices.
  3. Promoting a rights-based approach to just, inclusive, and sustainable natural-resource management, especially within the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Advocacy Focus

The MWG identifies the following key actors to address through advocacy:

  1. UN Member States
  2. UN agencies and the international community
  3. Affected communities; local and national civil society.

Advocacy Focuses

The MWG advocates for UN Member States to:

  • Fulfill their role as human rights guarantors.
  • Include the activities of extractive industries in their human-rights reporting.
  • Heed the recommendations of Special Rapporteurs.
  • Fulfill obligations assumed under human-rights treaties with respect to extractive activities.
  • Critically examine the link between development and extractive activities and prevent exploitation.
  • Advocate in the international sphere for just practices in the extractive activities.
  • Include extractive activities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The MWG advocates for the international community, especially UN agencies, to:

  • Advance policy debates for heightened scrutiny of extractive industries issues within the implementation of Agenda 2030.
  • Engage with international HR mechanisms to advocate with specific States.
  • Reproduce international standards that clarify the rights of local communities and obligations of States and private actors.
  • Clarify proper role of financial institutions and inter-governmental policy bodies.

The MWG advocates with local communities to:

  • Provide information to local groups about international standards and developments to enhance their national advocacy.
  • Partner with local groups to effectively lobby states regarding their human rights’ obligations within their territories.
  • Partner with local groups to raise international awareness of the human rights abuses they endure.
  • Enlist input and participation of local groups in the SDG process.

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