Coal Mining and Violations of Adivasi rights in India
A report from July 2016 by Amnesty International that covers the effects of coal exploration on rural Indian communities and minority tribes. This report examines how land acquisition and mining have breached Indian domestic laws, and India’s obligations under international human rights law. It also demonstrates how Coal India Limited (CIL) as a company has failed to meet its human rights responsibilities.
At this time, the Indian government plans to nearly double annual coal production by 2020 to meet growing energy requirements. Central to these plans is the state run giant Coal India Limited (CIL) – the world’s largest coal producer. CIL aims to increase its output to 1 billion tonnes annually by 2020, primarily by increasing production in existing mines. These plans for expansion threaten continued damage to communities affected by these mines, who are rarely meaningfully informed or consulted when their land is acquired, their forests decimated, and their livelihoods jeopardised.
About 70 per cent of India’s coal is located in the central and eastern states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, where over 26 million members of Adivasi communities live, nearly a quarter of India’s Adivasi population. While domestic laws require Indian authorities to consult, and in some cases seek the consent of, Adivasi communities before acquiring land or mining, and international human rights law and standards also guarantee the right of indigenous peoples to take part in the decisions that affect their lives and territories, this report shows they are rarely adhered to in any meaningful sense.