Privatized Remedy and Human Rights: Re-thinking Project-Level Grievance Mechanisms

This brief was prepared by MiningWatch Canada and Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) to accompany a panel organized by both organizations titled “Privatized Remedy and Human Rights: Re-thinking Project-Level Grievance Mechanisms.” The panel was organized for the Third Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Geneva on December 1, 2014.

This brief does not cover the full range of concerns related to excessive use of force by mine security and police guarding the Porgera Joint Venture mine in Papua New Guinea and the North Mara Mine Gold Mine Ltd. in Tanzania.[1]

Nor does this brief provide comprehensive coverage of all areas of concern related to the implementation of company-led project-level non-judicial grievance mechanisms at these two mine sites to deal with criminal acts and gross violations of human rights.

The purpose of this brief is to raise important concerns regarding the implementation of these non-judicial grievance mechanisms, based in part on field assessments carried out by the authors (by Catherine between 2008-2013 in Porgera and by both Catherine and Patricia in 2014 in North Mara), and to stimulate vigorous debate.

[1] Barrick Gold Corp. (Barrick) is 95% owner of the Porgera Joint Venture mine (Porgera Mine) and the mine is operated by a Barrick subsidiary. The North Mara Gold Mine Ltd. (North Mara Mine) is the local subsidiary of African Barrick Gold (recently renamed Acacia Mining), of which Barrick owns 64%.