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Article

3 Dec 2018

Author:
Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, MiningWatch Canada & Amnesty International

Mining affected communities denounce lack of progress by Canadian govt. to appoint Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise

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"Press release: Mining affected communities ask, "Where is Canada's Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise?" 28 Nov 2018

2018 has been another dangerous year for human rights defenders seeking justice in cases involving large extraction companies, including Canadian companies. At the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights this week, mining affected communities from Guatemala and Papua New Guinea are asking “where is Canada’s Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise?” The Canadian government committed to create this mechanism more than ten months ago and has yet to appoint anyone to the post... [T]hirty-five Canadian civil society organizations, as well as overseas communities affected by Canadian mining companies, are denouncing the lack of action and progress. “Companies must live up to their responsibilities to respect human rights and must be held accountable when they harm people,” said Angelica Choc, a Maya-Q’eqchi’ human rights defender from Guatemala... “There are so many men and women in our place who have suffered from violent acts by the mine’s security and we have nowhere to turn for justice,” said Joycelyn Mandi, one of many women directly impacted by security forces of Barrick Gold’s mine in their community of Porgera, Papua New Guinea. “Our legal system is weak and it is very hard to go to court overseas. We have written to the Canadian government to create a strong Ombudsperson, but we are losing even that hope.”

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