Blog Entry

Women Speak Out About Abuse at Barrick Gold’s North Mara Mine in Tanzania

Jamie Kneen

National Program Co-Lead

MiningWatch Releases Video and Critique of the Mine’s Grievance Mechanism

In a video released by MiningWatch Canada, women living in villages around Barrick Gold’s North Mara mine in Tanzania speak out publicly for the first time about the sexual violence they suffered at the hands of private and public (police) mine security at the North Mara mine. They also discuss the inadequacies of the remedy they have received from the mine’s grievance mechanism, and the ongoing hardship they continue to suffer as a result of their rapes.

MiningWatch has interviewed over a hundred men, women, and surviving family members of victims who have suffered violence at the hands of mine security. We have visited the mine site to conduct human rights field assessments yearly since 2014 and have reported on our findings regarding the impacts of ongoing violence and the inadequacy of the mine’s responses. As a result of the yearly substantiated critiques that both MiningWatch Canada and UK-based Rights and Accountability in Development have made public regarding the North Mara mine’s inequitable remedy mechanism, Barrick Gold’s subsidiary Acacia Mining released a new operating procedure for the North Mara mine’s grievance mechanism this year. MiningWatch has reviewed the new grievance procedure and found it to lack independence and not to afford commonly indigent and illiterate victims of the North Mara mine a fair process by which to have their complaints addressed.

We worked with our local partners and some of the women from North Mara who have suffered sexual violence to prepare a video to be presented at the International Gathering of Women Resisting Extractivism. The conference brought together 37 female land and life defenders from some 15 countries around the world to share their experiences and strategies of resistance, as well as to speak out against the threats they are facing because of their work, and to seek common ground and solidarity for continued struggle in defence of life and territory.

This video highlights the ongoing impacts suffered by these victims of sexual assault by mine security and the continued need for equitable and sustainable remedy for the long-lasting harms they and their dependents have endured.