Transnational Corporations and West Papua: A Friend or Foe for Indigenous People of This Region?

  • Martha Widdi NurfaizaEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


The responsibility of transnational corporations has become a popular issue nowadays, especially in relation to the rights of indigenous people, who inhabit areas in which natural resources are being exploited. The conflict between stewardship of the land and capitalist industry, thus, became catalyst for the emergence of indigenous activism. This was the case of US-owned Freeport mine operating on the land of indigenous people in West Papua. The corporation has a record of being suspected of human rights and environmental abuse allegations. Despite the negative implications of the mining on the health of population, Freeport was quite immune to the continuous criticisms it earned. This essay examines two key questions about the operation of this mine: how did it affect the socio-economic well-being of Indigenous people, and has Freeport taken any measures to resolve those issues in an appropriate manner? This essay will first discuss the troubled history of the mine and examine its adverse impacts on environment and socio-economic aspects of indigenous West Papuans. It will then evaluate the struggle of those people to gain redress from the system, followed by the steps taken by Freeport to accommodate that demand, viewed from the lens of international laws.


Environmental justice Mining Indigenous rights 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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