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Elemental Human Rights and Sierra Leone’s Iron Ore

In...2012...Sierra Leone...witnessed a confrontation between police and workers...at a project owned by...African Minerals Ltd. (AML)... [P]olice unleashed...live ammunition...killing a female contractor while wounding eight...such episodes have haunted mining for generations...Consequently, environmental concerns...are taking a back seat to human rights issues...AML...is hardly alone..AML differs, however, in its ongoing...rapport with...Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigators...[T]the primary triggers of violence..[have] been workplace discontent...managerial racism and abuse coupled with restrictions...[on] union formation...Mine-area displacement...is equally challenging. “Investors...exploit land title and corruption,” writes Peligal [Human Rights Watch Deputy Africa Director Rona Peligal]...[leading to] rights abuses...[P]rotecting the rights of Sierra Leonians is not an option, but a legal obligation... “This has been a steep learning curve...” former Global Head of Sustainable Development Graham Foyle-Twining conceded...[also refers to Barrick Gold, BHP Billiton, Freeport-McMoRan, Rio Tinto, and Lonmin]

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