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10 Jul 2020

Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability

Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability highlights serious concerns with the CORE draft Standard Operating Procedures

As indicated in our letter to an earlier version of the CORE’s draft Standard Operating Procedures: “given the continued lack of clarity relating to whether and when the CORE will be given the basic minimum powers it needs to be able to fulfill its core investigatory mandate, we are not prepared to engage more fully with this consultation... Unless and until the CORE is transformed into the promised independent office with robust powers to investigate, including the power to compel documents and testimony from companies under investigation, the CORE will not have the minimum powers required to be effective.

... While the revised draft standard operating procedures are an improvement over the previous version, several concerns remain:

  • The CORE’s mandate is to advance respect for human rights, not to resolve disputes... The standard operating procedures must acknowledge CORE’s responsibility in assisting Canada to meet its international human rights obligations, including protecting against human rights abuses by third parties, such as corporations. Instead, the draft standard operating procedures frame allegations of human rights abuses as “disputes”, and describe the CORE’s function as “dispute resolution”. Such language implies that every complaint to the CORE is a mere disagreement between equal parties, rather than consisting of allegations of serious human rights abuse by companies against innocent people...
  • The CORE should commit to reviewing every complaint that meets the admissibility threshold.