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8 Jul 2020

Aaron Fernandes, SBS News

Aboriginal groups call for Rio Tinto to be stripped of human rights recognition

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10 July 2020

Aboriginal and human rights organisations are calling for mining giant Rio Tinto to be removed from a global index promoting its human rights record, following the destruction of culturally significant sites.

The 2019 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assesses 200 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world on a set of human rights indicators.

Rio Tinto is currently the highest ranked extractives company on the CHBR, with a total score of 76 per cent.

Thirty-five organisations have signed a letter calling for Rio Tinto to be removed from the list, after the company used explosives to destroy Aboriginal sacred sites in Western Australia in May.


In response, the World Benchmarking Alliance said it will add a statement to Rio Tinto's listing on the CHRB, condemning the "destruction of invaluable cultural heritage".


"CHRB and WBA call on Rio Tinto to take appropriate action to carry out an independent investigation of the incident, involving affected stakeholders, to provide effective remedy and to prevent similar impacts in the future, in Australia and elsewhere."

The letter to World Benchmarking Alliance executive director Gerbrand Haverkamp states that in recent years, Rio Tinto has been the subject of serious human rights and environmental complaints in Bougainville, West Papua, Mongolia, Guinea, Namibia and Madagascar, as well as Australia.