Top court weighs precedent-setting case of human rights breaches at Canadian mine in Eritrea

CBC News

Eritrean refugees want to sue B.C.-based Nevsun Resources over alleged forced labour at its gold mine

Kathleen Harris · CBC News · 

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments today in what could be a precedent-setting case for Canadian companies that do business abroad.

B.C.-based mining company Nevsun Resources Ltd. is being sued for its alleged complicity in the forced labour, slavery and torture of workers at the Bisha gold, zinc and copper mine in Eritrea, East Africa.

At issue for the top justices is whether Canadian courts have jurisdiction to hear civil cases like this one, that involve alleged breaches of customary international law by private Canadian firms. Traditionally, this body of law has applied only to sovereign states.

Read the full article at as well as the CBC's Fifth Estate extensive reporting on the allegations against Nevsun.