Over 180 organizations urge Canadian Prime Minister to promote effective regulation of Canadian mining companies operating in Latin America

April 22, 2016
Justin Trudeau must implement reforms to ensure that Canadian mining companies comply with the highest international human rights standards.

Washington, DC. April 25, 2016.- Today, over 180 organizations from Latin America, Europe and the United States presented a public letter to the Prime Minister of Canada urging his government to promote legal and administrative reforms to more effectively regulate the actions of Canadian mining companies throughout the world. Canadian diplomatic and financial support extended to companies that commit or tolerate human rights violations in Latin America has been addressed by thematic committees and special rapporteurs of the Universal Human Rights System from the United Nations and in public hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. These conclusions are supported by a report produced by DPLF and a coalition of Latin American organizations titled "The Impact of Canadian Mining in Latin America and Canada's Responsibility".

Those organizations that signed the public letter asked that Canada guarantee the highest international standards in its policies promoting mining and in its relationship with the countries where Canadian companies operate. They also requested the creation of access to justice mechanisms in Canada, whereby victims of human rights violations committed by the Canadian Mining companies can find redress, when it does not happen in the countries where the violations take place .

Daniel Cerqueira, Sr. Program Officer for Human Rights and Extractive Industries at DPLF, stated that:
"While Canada promotes voluntary standards of corporate social responsibility, its mining companies remain involved in serious human rights violations in Latin America. The absence of effective accountability and sanction mechanisms for abuses perpetrated by these companies compromise Canada's image as a nation committed to human rights."
The signing organizations recognize the gestures supporting respect for human rights extended by Justin Trudeau's government since his appointment as Prime Minister. Nevertheless, we expect the expressed openness toward new human rights policies prove true through the implementation of concrete measures restricting the conduct of mining companies headquartered in Canada to a legal framework consistent with the Canadian's international obligations.