MiningWatch Canada submitted a brief to the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, ahead of Professor Tomoya Obokata's country visit to Canada.
In May 2023, a delegation of 13 representatives from social and environmental justice organisations from eight countries in the Americas and Europe visited Colombia to share experiences of struggles against the global investment protection regime. The mission also went to learn firsthand about the peoples and ecosystems being threatened by corporate lawsuits, as well as the environmental, social and cultural harms that transnational investments have already caused, particularly in the departments of La Guajira and Santander.
In June 2023, the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP) submitted a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the family of Mariano Abarca. Mr. Abarca was a beloved community leader and human rights defender who was murdered with impunity on November 27, 2009, in Chiapas, Mexico. Mr. Abarca was killed for defending community rights in relation to the “Payback” mining project, owned by Canadian company Blackfire Exploration Ltd. (“Blackfire”). The complaint makes the case for Canada’s legal accountability for human rights abuse linked to its extractive industry overseas.
Canada’s Systematic Failure to Fulfill its International Obligations to Human and Environmental Rights Defenders Abroad
Corporate accountability experts sent a 30-page submission to the UN Human Rights Council ahead of its April 2023 Universal Periodic Review of Canada, denouncing Canada for its continued diplomatic support of mining companies over the safety of human rights and environment defenders (HRDs).
Harm caused or contributed to by Canadian mining companies, their subsidiaries and contractors overseas is widespread globally and persistent. It includes environmental degradation that will persist for hundreds of years, a wide range of human rights harms, abuses of Indigenous rights, as well as negative economic and financial impacts at local and national levels. Together, these impacts have serious and long-term repercussions on local and national development.
In Mexico, the government promotes the exploitation of lithium as part of an effort to strengthen national sovereignty, justifying mining by designating lithium extraction as being in the public interest. But what is being promoted as positive and necessary for the country's development is in fact a project strongly tied to private capital – one that poses high risks to the public treasury, while being based on the dispossession, destruction and militarization of the territories where this mineral is located.
The Two Faces of Canadian Diplomacy: Undermining Human Rights and Environment Defenders to Support Canadian Mining
Globalized industrial resource extraction is unsustainable from an environmental and social perspective, and Indigenous peoples are often on the front lines of alerting humanity to the resulting harms. Community members and their allies become environment and human rights defenders (HRDs) when they publicly allege harms on the part of state or company actors. As extraction intensifies around the world, so has the criminalization, threats, attacks, and even killings of HRDs. International bodies now regularly refer to this situation as a global crisis.
MiningWatch Canada has submitted comments on the draft federal environmental assessment conditions for the Marathon Palladium Project, where we express deep concern that the project is advancing in spite of the projected negative environmental effects and argue that a much more comprehensive and prescriptive set of conditions is required.
This report presents findings from research undertaken by MiningWatch Canada in North Mara, Tanzania, in September 2022. The issues addressed in this report have all occurred since Barrick’s September 2019 takeover of mine ownership and under Barrick’s CEO Mark Bristow. Findings are based on information provided by, among others, elected officials, community leaders, victims of violence by police who receive direct financial and other benefits from the mine (mine police), and family members of those who have perished as a result of excess use of force by mine police, as well as information provided by victims of violent and inequitable forced evictions, the legality of which is questionable.
Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy – A Response to the Department of Natural Resources Discussion Paper
Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson released a discussion paper on Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention earlier this year. This is a response to that document.
Covid-19 has created deeper inequalities and increased poverty while richer households and nations have begun to recover; the world’s poor and working class continue to absorb its impacts.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlights the relationship between the failures and contradictions of capitalism and the global destruction of nature and deepening socio-economic inequalities. The manner in which Covid-19 continues to unfold reflects the rhythm of existing patterns of exploitation, placing at the centre of its destructive path the world’s already vulnerable people.
This report explores, through research and a series of first-hand accounts, how extractive industries have sought to benefit from the Covid-19 pandemic, advancing mining agendas and shrinking civic space. Key themes are presented throughout case studies in Turkey, Northern Ireland, and Spain. This report was developed by the Europe Coordinating Committee of the Coalition Against the Mining Pandemic.
This report analyzes the mining industry’s operations in North America over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic to date, with a particular focus on the Canadian context. Drawing from an analysis of over fifty news articles, and academic literature and phone interviews, it highlights the social and environmental impacts of these operations on local communities and seeks to bring to light regulatory changes introduced under the cover of the pandemic.
This report was developed by the Coalition Against the Mining Pandemic - Asia-Pacific. The report discusses the nexus of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mining industry in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea, showing how the mining industry and governments in the region have reaped benefits from the pandemic. It also explores how mining-affected communities respond to the social and ecological crisis that they experience.
This is a revised version of "Safety First", Published jointly by Earthworks (USA) and MiningWatch Canada, it updates the guidelines for safety, respect for affected communities, and corporate accountability that must be incorporated into any tailings standards or regulations. Please see this page for related materials – maps, summaries, and infographics, as well as the related news release.
This report was developed by the Coalition against the Mining Pandemic – Latin America. It unmasks the unbridled advance of mining during the pandemic, for which reason communities and peoples in Latin America could not let their guard down even while taking measures to protect themselves from COVID-19.
In this report, Ecovision’s Stephen Hazell challenges British Columbia premier John Horgan’s claim that the province’s 2019 Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA) is “world-leading”. “Not Yet a World Leader: Environmental Reviews of Metal Mines in British Columbia” finds that B.C actually lags other key jurisdictions by failing to assess some proposed metal mines that may have significant adverse effects.