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Myanmar: Swedwatch report urges mining machinery providers to conduct human rights due diligence to prevent & mitigate adverse impacts
Author: Swedwatch, Published on: 20 June 2018
"Machinery providers fail to recognize human rights risks in Myanmar's jade mines," 20 June 2018
Irresponsible jade extraction has led to extensive human suffering and environmental degradation in Myanmar’s conflict-affected Kachin state. The use of heavy mining equipment, manufactured by companies such as Caterpillar, Komatsu and Volvo Construction Equipment, has enabled extraction to take place at an unprecedented speed. A Swedwatch report finds that the companies rely on insufficient human rights safeguards regarding risks associated with the use of their equipment.
Though it is clear that none of the companies reviewed in the report can or should be held accountable for the complex situation in Kachin, Swedwatch’s report indicates that the three companies fail in their compliance with the UNGPs...None of the companies are able to demonstrate adequate efforts to identify, mitigate or prevent risks associated with the use of its equipment, specifically as regard to adverse impacts on human rights and the environment in the nation’s mining areas...[T]wo companies state that they lack possibilities to control the end use of sold products throughout their lifecycle. However, the companies’ responses indicate that none of them have tried to identify where or how its products are used in Myanmar...
...Swedwatch urges the companies to conduct ongoing human rights due diligence in Myanmar and other high-risk markets in order to identify how the use of their products affects people and the environment. The process should be conducted with a gender perspective and should follow the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct or an equally recognized guidance...