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From dialogue to accountability: A call for Canadian leadership on business and human rights

This week members of the United Nations Working Group on business and human rights wrap up a 10-day visit to Canada. The selection of Canada as one of just two countries the group will visit this year was opportune, given the particularly high risk of social and environmental harm associated with extractive industry projects and Canada’s global dominance in mining. To eradicate the serious harm often linked to mining, oil and gas development, Canada will need to play a major role in closing the governance gap... As a region, Latin America has seen at least 85 cases of local socio-environmental conflict involving Canadian mining companies, some of which receive political or financial support from the Canadian government... Canada’s government has not, to date, presented a clear, credible plan for how it will fulfill its legal duty to protect against and redress human rights abuse by Canadian multinationals... The government is expected to announce the creation of an ombudsman office to investigate alleged wrongdoing by extractive firms operating abroad – a move that all but one of Canada’s main political parties committed to support... Beyond this, Canada must do more to prevent business-related human rights abuse before it occurs. In step with the move towards mandatory due diligence underway in Europe, it should require companies to assess and mitigate risks of human rights abuse throughout their global operations and supply chains... Finally, it’s crucial that Canada withhold public support from companies that violate human rights. [refers to Talisman, China Gold]

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Related companies: China Gold International Resources Talisman (part of Repsol)