A number of Canadian mining, oil and gas companies that operate overseas have been accused of having a role in the killing of protesters, forced eviction of communities, rape of local women, contamination of water, and failure to respect Indigenous land rights.
International law requires that victims of human rights abuses have a “right to remedy”. It is extremely difficult, however, for victims to obtain remedy if the perpetrator is a very powerful company headquartered in another country.
Amnesty International is working hard to ensure that people who have been harmed by Canadian companies in other countries have “access to remedy” in Canada. Together with a coalition of 30 Canadian civil society organizations we are urging the Government of Canada to create an Extractive Sector Ombudsperson who would be empowered to receive complaints about human rights abuses involving Canadian mining, oil and gas companies, launch an investigation, report on its findings and make recommendations.
The Government of Canada’s “corporate social responsibility strategy” focuses on voluntary commitments by industry to respect human rights. There is no enforcement mechanism and it fails to ensure remedy for victims of corporate human rights abuses. Prior to Canada’s 2015 Federal election, the Liberal Party declared its support for the creation of an Extractive Sector Ombudsperson; however, we are concerned that we have not seen any progress to achieve this.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
WRITE A LETTER to your Member of Parliament (MP) urging them to support the creation of an Extractive Sector Ombudsperson. You can find your MP’s name and address here by entering your postal code. Postage is free to MPs in Canada. Please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org any responses that you receive.
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