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10 Jul 2020

London Mining Network

Aboriginal & human rights org’s call on CHRB to strip Rio Tinto of its ranking following the destruction of Aboriginal heritage sites

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“LMN joins call to strip Rio Tinto of Human Rights ranking after Juukan Gorge destruction”, 09 July 2020

… 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and human rights organisations have called on the global Corporate Human Rights Benchmark … to strip Rio Tinto of its status as a global human rights leader…

Despite global condemnation … Rio Tinto is still currently listed on the CHRB’s website as the highest ranked extractives company globally on human rights issues, with a score in the second-highest possible band. 

Nolan Hunter, CEO of the Kimberley Land Council, said that,

Rio Tinto’s actions at Juukan Gorge show a total lack of regard for their obligations to the PKKP people and their human rights obligations as an international company operating in Australia...”

Wayne Bergmann, another Kimberley Aboriginal leader and CEO of Aboriginal charitable trust KRED, commented:

Rio Tinto has quite literally blown up its social licence to operate as far as Aboriginal communities are concerned … We are calling on the Benchmark to ensure that the company’s human rights ranking reflects the reality for people here on the ground...”

The organisations are calling on the CHRB to suspend Rio Tinto to help ensure the company and relevant executives are held to account for their actions.

Keren Adams, Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre … said that Rio Tinto’s actions … [are] symptomatic of a broader culture of disregard for communities’ rights and cultural heritage:

… Rio Tinto’s high ranking under the benchmark also demonstrated a clear need for a re-think of how serious human rights violations are treated by the benchmark.