Mining companies operating in conflict-affected areas cannot overlook their responsibilities to respect human rights, says lawyer

Author: Mark Camilleri, Tsamota, Published on: 4 May 2016

"Miners, guns and lawyers: Tracing corporate liability for breaches of human rights by mining companies in conflict-affected areas", Oct 2015

...Mining companies, like all other commercial enterprises, can and do have a wide impact on the communities in their areas of operation. In particular, a mining company has the potential to affect a wide range of human rights, including the right to enjoy just and favourable working conditions, the right to freedom of assembly and freedom to associate, the right to health and the right to privacy (to name but a few examples). However, given the nature of the mining industry and its reliance on security forces to protect people and assets, there is a greater risk of mining and other extractive companies being implicated in human rights violations of the most severe nature...This complex relationship between society and miners is particularly evident in the context of Western-based mining companies operating abroad...The mining sector can play a very positive role in the economic development of regions plagued by violence or weak governance regimes. In fact, the mining sector is often a key sector in helping to foster the required level of economic support to eventually break the conflict cycle in an affected community...This paper aims to assist mining companies, along with their legal advisors, operating in CAA [conflict-affected areas] by firstly examining the risks – in particular the legal risks – of becoming implicated in gross human rights abuses while operating in these areas. It will then examine what human rights obligations a mining company has and the steps that a company can take to mitigate human rights-related risks...[Refers to Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), Hudbay Minerals, Nevsun, Tahoe Resources]


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Related companies: Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals) China Minmetals Hudbay Minerals Nevsun Tahoe Resources (part of Pan American Silver)