Barrick Under Global Pressure to Withdraw Conditions on Remedy for PNG Rape Victims

Catherine Coumans

Ph.D. Research Coordinator and Asia-Pacific Program Coordinator

Since January, 2013, MiningWatch Canada has raised concern about the fact that Barrick Gold is seeking legal immunity from victims of rape by mine security guards at the company’s Porgera Joint Venture Mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG). If these rape victims accept an individual remedy package they must sign a waiver that assures Barrick that they will never sue the company in PNG or anywhere else in the world. We have raised this concern in a number of public letters to the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (UNHCHR). 

Under pressure, Barrick posted a note to its web site on April 16, 2013 stating that there is a new “version” of the legal waiver that “contains much narrower terms.” We have repeatedly asked for a copy of the new terms to be made public but none has been released by Barrick to date. We therefore sent another letter to the UNHCHR on May 14.

Also on May 14, 77 global organizations sent a letter to the UNHCHR expressing their deep concern with Barrick’s attempt to seek legal immunity from women who have been raped by mine security guards.

Letter to UNHCHR, May 14, 2013 re Porgera - sign-on Letter to UNHCHCR, May 14, 2013 re: Porgera