In principle, human rights law does not impose obligations directly upon private actors, such as transnational corporations (TNCs). States are obliged, though, to protect their citizens against violations by TNCs. They should thus adopt legislative or other measures regulating the activities of TNCs in accordance with human rights standards. Consequently, TNCs are indirectly bound by human rights norms, via domestic legislation. Many developing countries, however, do not appropriately regulate the activities of TNCs in order to maintain an attractive investment climate in pursuance of their development policies. The research project will analyze whether the obligation of developing countries to protect can be enforced through litigation, backed up by a political strategy or not. Can judges directly require or indirectly provoke the strengthening or enforcement of regulations in accordance with human rights standards? At the fundamental level, this might be inhibited by the principle of separation of powers (forbidding the judiciary from interfering with the executive or legislature) and the normative position of human rights within the hierarchy of legal norms. At the practical level, it is should be assessed whether litigation is considered appropriate by victims and whether and under what circumstances it is likely to be successful. For this purpose, a case study will be conducted on health problems caused by resource extraction in South Africa and Nigeria.