Canada: Standing Committee report on resource extraction in Latin America recommends Govt. focus development initiatives on root causes of human rights abuses

Author: Report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, House of Commons, Published on: 12 February 2019

"Race to the top: Improving Canada's extractive sector corporate social responsibility strategy to safeguard human rights in Latin America," 31 Jan 2019

Canadian resource exploration and extraction firms maintain a strong presence across Latin America... for some of the most vulnerable groups, notably indigenous communities and communities dependent on agriculture, the potential benefits of resource extraction projects can be outweighed by negative impacts on their natural environment and livelihoods. Reports of violence against opponents of projects, including targeted killings and criminalization of human rights defenders, cast a shadow over the economic promise and contributions made by Canadian resource extraction firms... In September and October of 2017, the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (the Subcommittee) undertook a study of human rights surrounding natural resource extraction in Latin America.

... The Subcommittee recommends that the Government of Canada use its diplomatic and development partnerships first to address negative social and environmental impacts of resource extraction projects, while more evenly distributing benefits, and second, to achieve reductions in corruption and impunity which allow human rights abuses to proliferate. The Subcommittee urges the Government of Canada to continue to enhance Canada’s response to human rights concerns surrounding resource extraction efforts. The Subcommittee also makes recommendations to strengthen Canada’s 2014 CSR Strategy as a whole, including by calling for a critical evaluation of existing CSR standards and compliance mechanisms, and prioritizing their promotion among communities that need them most.

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