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Call for Applications: Research consultant on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights

25 October 2017- The Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is looking for a research consultant to prepare a baseline report on the impacts of the extractive industries on human rights and the environment in Africa. This work forms part of a project in which the CHR offers support to the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment, and Human Rights (WGEI) of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission).


From 2013 to 2015 the CHR supported the WGEI’s mandate, by facilitating a country visit to Zambia and hosting sub-regional consultations in Southern, East, and Central Africa. The focus of the country visit and sub-regional consultations was to get input from a broad range of stakeholders that included impacted communities, civil society organisations, industry representatives and governments, on the impacts of extractive industries on human rights and the environment in Africa. The information gathered during the 2013 to 2015 period should form part of the basis from which the commissioned report is to be developed. The research consultant will need to verify existing information by contacting participants of previous consultations to the extent possible, in an attempt to update and validate previous findings.

Terms of Reference

The research consultant is expected to use existing papers developed by the WGEI, relevant reports and instruments of the African Commission and other regional bodies, as well as other published materials relevant to this topic, to present a baseline report to the WGEI on the impacts of extractive industries on human rights and the environment in Africa.
The study will mainly be desktop based, though applicants are encouraged to make use of any other relevant sources that would add value to the report. The report should be approximately 12 000 – 15 000 words, excluding footnotes and sources.
Research questions include, but are not limited to:
  • How have extractive industries developed since 2015, specifically in the way they interact with Africa?
  • What are some of the negative impacts of extractive industries that have been identified since 2015?
  • What are some of the positive impacts that have been identified since 2015?
  • How specific domestic, sub-regional, regional and international legal and soft law frameworks set up to regulate and govern extractive industries in Africa, and what the challenges and shortcomings that exist in this regard?
  • How have individuals, indigenous groups and other affected groups used domestic, sub-regional and international legal and soft law frameworks in the context of extractive industries in Africa?
  • What steps that can the African Commission, and other regional bodies, take to mitigate the negative impacts of the extractive industries, and maximize the positive impacts?


In order to be considered for this role, applicants must have the following:
  1. A relevant qualification at post-graduate level;
  2. A minimum of 5 years experience working on issues related to extractive industries, human rights and the environment in Africa;
  3. Demonstrated experience in conducting research and preparing high quality reports particularly in the context of extractive industries, human rights and the environment; and
  4. An ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.


The research consultant will start as soon as possible, but not later than January 2017. While the deadline will be set upon the appointment of the research consultant, it is expected to be no later than 4 months after the appointment is made.
Compensation will be commensurate with the qualification and experience of the selected research consultant, and will be negotiated during the appointment process.
To apply, please send your CV, and a writing sample (unedited), to Josua Loots at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 30 November 2017. Shortlisted applicants may also be asked to submit a proposed research methodology and structure.
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