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20 Sep 2015

Anna von Gall, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)

Paper discusses options for holding extractive industries accountable for sexual & gender-based violence

"Litigation (im)possible? Holding companies accountable for sexual and gender-based violence in the context of extractive industries",

...The extraction of high-value natural resources are known to trigger, escalate and sustain violent conflicts, as extractive industries are based on a model that is inherently violent – not only towards ecosys- tems, but also towards workers, communities and wo- men. Conflicts between companies and local communities frequently escalate into violent repression by state or private security forces. Peaceful protesters are seriously injured, illegally detained, tortured and often raped or sexually abused. Although it is known that these conflicts involve gender-specific forms of violence such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse and rape, human rights litigators rarely focus on the relationship between extractivism, sexual and gender- based violence and the potential of litigation to end impunity for these crimes...This paper shall highlight the possibilities for holdin companies accountable before criminal or civil courts for sexual violence committed in the context of their activities in the extractive industries...[Refers to African Barrick Gold (now Acacia), Barrick Gold, Danzer, Hudbay Minerals, Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin)] [Also refers to African Barrick Gold lawsuit (re Tanzania); Danzer Group & SIFORCO lawsuit (re Dem. Rep. of Congo); Hudbay Minerals lawsuits (re Guatemala);Monterrico Metals lawsuit (re Peru)]