Mining industry taking harmful advantage of COVID-19 pandemic, claims civil society statement
More than 300 civil society organizations from around the world have signed a statement to condemn how the mining industry is operating in light of COVID-19. Signatories include various members of GoodElectronics such as SOMO, Afrewatch, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Workers Assistance Center, ICRT, and People & Planet among others.
Through speaking with affected communities and studying available findings, these organizations have found that “the mining industry and numerous governments are taking advantage of the pandemic to manufacture new mining opportunities and establish a positive public image, now and for the future.”
The statement outlines four complaints:
- Mining companies are continuing to operate, despite the risks posed by the pandemic.
- Governments are shutting down anti-mining protests and promoting the mining sector.
- Mining companies are using the pandemic as a PR stunt to polish their dirty histories.
- Corporations and governments are pushing through regulatory changes that undermine sustainability.
The signatories call on governments to “respect and support the autonomous organizing and self-determining processes of mining-affected communities and Indigenous peoples,” and on international human rights organizations to monitor the situation.
Read the full statement with all signatories here.