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12 Jun 2015

Hilary Beaumont, Vice News

UN Report Alleges Forced Labor at Canadian-Owned Mine in Eritrea

A UN report on human rights abuses in Eritrea has unearthed new allegations of forced labor at a Canadian-owned mining company...Workers quoted in the report say they were conscripted to work against their will for Canadian mining company Nevsun...[W]orkers were punished for taking a break, not working hard enough, fighting, conversing or not following orders...Nevsun says, "our company does not tolerate any forms of abuse, involuntary labor or discriminatory labor practices." But human rights lawyer James Yap, who is bringing a class action suit against the Vancouver-based company, says abuses at the mine are all too common...In a statement emailed to VICE News, Nevsun said it attempted to contact the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry and requested a meeting, but the commission did not reply...The company...declined to comment on the lawsuit, as the matter is before the courts. In its statement of defense, Nevsun says it denies allegations...The lawsuit against Nevsun is scheduled to go to court in January 2016...

Part of the following timelines

Eritrea: UN report alleges forced labour at Nevsun mines

Nevsun lawsuit (re Bisha mine, Eritrea)