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Publication

Submission to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights ahead of its Visit to Canada

This document was prepared to help members of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights prepare for their May 23-June 1 mission to Canada

It proposes discussion in six areas:

  1. Access to remedy (non-judicial) – Issues related to access to non-judicial remedy as it pertains to Canada’s mining sector’s activities overseas, in particular in regard to: inadequacies of state-based non-judicial mechanisms; flawed use of Operational-Level Grievance Mechanisms.

  2. Access to remedy (judicial) – Issues related to access to legal remedy as it pertains to Canada’s mining sector’s activities overseas, in particular in regard to criminalization of human rights defenders and impunity for criminal acts, including against defenders and members of affected communities.

  3. Absence of laws in Canada to prevent human rights abuses abroad – Issues related to Canadian mining activities abroad, especially during the early phases of mining such as prospection and exploration, that contribute to human rights abuses.

  4. Canadian state complicity in human rights abuses related to mining activities abroad – Issues related to Canadian political and financial support to promote, protect and defend the interests of Canadian mining companies operating abroad at the project and policy level to the detriment of human rights, Indigenous rights, labour rights and environmental protections.

  5. Investor protection agreements as a barrier to the protection and full enjoyment of human rights where mining companies operate in Canada and abroad Issues related to Canada’s role in the promotion and approval of investor protection agreements that privilege corporate investors over the human rights of Indigenous peoples and mining-affected communities, as well as putting public policy to protect the environment and human rights in jeopardy.

  6. Human rights abuses related to mining activities in Canada – Issues related to the impact of mining activities on women, on site and at home; failure to implement Free, Prior, Informed Consent for Indigenous peoples affected by mining activities; relocation and compensation (eg. the Malartic legal case).