The Canadian government is failing to protect women against human rights abuses by supporting and financing mining companies that are involved in discrimination, rape, and violence abroad, according to a new report submitted to the United Nations on Monday.
The report (pdf), written by EarthRights International (ERI), MiningWatch Canada, and the Human Rights Research and Education Center Human Rights Clinic at the University of Ottawa, states that the Canadian government continues to support these corporations instead of holding them to account, despite its obligations to do so as a member of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Canada’s complicity in the abuse is especially noteworthy because it is home to a majority of the world’s mining company headquarters, which operate at more than 8,000 sites in over 100 countries.
In one case outlined in the report, Indigenous women and girls living near Papua New Guinea’s Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) gold mine accused security personnel at the site of engaging in a decades-long campaign of sexual violence, including gang rape. The companies that run PJV—Barrick Gold and Placer Dome—also reportedly allowed environmental devastation and other forms of violence against men and women, as well as forced displacement, extrajudicial killings, and arbitrary detention, the report states.