Ghana: Human Rights Commission's investigations reveal widespread human rights violations by mining companies

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Article
30 June 2008

Golden Star Resources website

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Article
30 June 2008

Red Back Mining website

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Article
27 June 2008

CHRAJ indicts mining companies of human rights abuses [Ghana]

Author: Selorm Amevor, Public Agenda [Ghana]

The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has pronounced mining companies in Ghana guilty of various forms of human rights abuses in their host communities....In a draft investigative report into the state of human rights in mining communities, CHRAJ indicates that its findings revealed evidence of widespread violations of human rights of individuals and communities in which they operate...[including] pollution of water sources, deprivation, loss of livelihoods, health problems, use of both state and private security to torture community members and inadequate compensation. [refers to AngloGold Ashanti, Chirano Mines (part of Red Back Mining), Bogoso Gold Limited (part of Golden Star Resources)]

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Article
2 June 2008

[DOC] AngloGold Ashanti's response

Author: AngloGold Ashanti

On the...conflict between land use for agriculture and for mining, it is clear that...agriculture and mining are two of the primary industries which have formed the basis for broader economic development. It is also clear, however, that the task of determining national economic development priorities, in a democratic country such as Ghana, rests most properly with government...As a signatory of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, we agree that neither private nor public security forces should be entitled to violate human rights, and that mining companies should avoid complicity in human rights violations of any sort. However, normal police functions are sometimes necessary. Where company officials have occasionally called for military assistance this is out of desperation at the fact that many employees have been seriously injured in attacks by artisanal miners. The Ghana Mineworkers Union, too, has expressed serious concern over their members’ (our employees’) safety in this respect

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