This dissertation is a legal analysis of the violations of human rights in the Zambian mining sector. The
study provides a brief background to the mining sector in Zambia, the facts of several past and ongoing
cases related to the human rights violations in the Zambia mining sector, summaries of domestic,
regional and international human rights law applicable to the Zambian mining sector and then applies
the legal framework to the facts of past of and ongoing cases relating to violations of human rights in
the Zambian mining sector.
The study thus aims to discuss the effectiveness of the Zambian legal framework in addressing human
rights violations in the mining sector. In doing so, it aims at establishing whether the Zambian legal
framework, in practice, is reducing and mitigating the negative impacts of the mining sector on human.
The study will inform the government, regulatory institutions, mining companies, and grievance
mechanisms of what is expected of them under the existing regulatory framework, including regional
and international standards and also empower affected communities on when and how to seek a
By employing a desktop-based research methodology, the study analyses reported incidences of
human rights violations in the mining sector in the light of existing legal framework. It also analyse
issues around the enforcement of existing legal frameworks and some gaps and inconsistencies
between Zamia domestic legal frameworks and regional and international instruments to which
Zambia is a party.
The reveals that there are persistent incidences and cases of violations of human rights in the mining
sector which include, air, water, and soil pollution, land degradation, and the displacement of rural
communities without consultation and fair compensation. Besides, mining workers are subjected to
poor and unsafe working conditions and standard and the use of excessive force by both public and
private security forces. The study also reveals that Zambia has laws and regulations aimed at
minimizing the negative impacts of mining operations on human rights and ratifying several
international and regional human rights instruments.
While the law provides protections of human rights, there is a chronic lack of enforcement of the law
and underfunding of most of the major regulatory bodies. The majority of victims are poor and unable
to access justice without the provision of meaningful legal aid. In addition, there are fairly large gaps
between the existing law regional and international law. The Zambian legal framework lacks concrete
requirements for consultations with and participation of local communities. Therefore, the Zambian
legal framework is ineffective in addressing human rights violation in the mining sector.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2019.