Corporate Accountability

Investors are Increasingly Shunning Mining Companies that Violate Human Rights 

Investors in Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources paid a price when Tahoe failed to disclose the extent of community and Indigenous opposition to its Escobal mine in Guatemala a few years back.

Its stock was flying high at $27 a share, but it fell after a string of lawsuits and violent conflicts — including security guards shooting protesters in the back. The mine was eventually suspended by a Guatemalan court, and Tahoe was sold to Pan American Silver for about $5 a share.

Shin Imai & Sarah Colgrove | The Conversation
February 22, 2021

Canadian Economic Diplomacy: Policy Gaps, Human Rights Impacts & Recommendations (February 2018).

This submission summarizes the findings to date from a body of empirical research that has endeavoured to identify the human rights impacts of Canada’s economic diplomacy policy. With this context, it reviews Canada’s existing policy framework as it applies to economic diplomacy in order to identify the gaps in existing policy from an international human rights law perspective. This research and analysis forms the basis for two recommendations.

Charis Kamphuis | Submission to the United Nations Working Group on Business & Human Rights on behalf of the Justice & Corporate Accountability Project

February 2018

Guatemalan Miners Can Sue Firm in Canada, Appeal Court Rules

British Columbia’s top court is allowing seven Guatemalan residents to sue Canadian mining giant Tahoe Resources Inc. in Canada for a shooting that took place in Guatemala. The B.C. Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision in Garcia v Tahoe Inc. 2017 BCCA 39 should make Canadian companies with overseas operations take notice, says lawyers working on transnational human rights litigation.

Kim Arnott | Lawyers Weekly
February 17, 2017

Gold mine’s closing leaves uncertain legacy in Guatemala Mayan community

Global Sisters Report presents a special series on mining and extractive industries and the women religious who work to limit the damage and impact on people and the environment, through advocacy, action and policy. Pope Francis last year called for the entire mining sector to undergo “a radical paradigm change.” Sisters are on the front lines to help effect that change.

J. Malcolm Garcia | Global Sisters Report
May 26, 2016

Courts likely to be next battleground for Canadian companies with foreign ops

It’s not news that Canadian miner Nevsun Resources Ltd. may or may not have engaged in using forced labor — or, in less politically correct terms, slaves — in the construction of its Bisha copper mine in the repressive northern African state of Eritrea. What’s news this month is that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is now looking into it, issuing a June 5 report quoting Eritreans saying that they had been forced to work at the mine by Segen Construction Co., a  subcontractor to Nevsun with ties to the Eritrean government.

Jax Jacobsen | SNL Financial
June 24, 2015

Will Canadian companies be held responsible for their actions abroad?

Last week the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a path-breaking decision, Choc v. Hudbay Minerals, that might, for the first time, require a Canadian mining company to take legal responsibility for human rights abuses abroad. The case concerns the alleged gang rape of indigenous women and the murder of an indigenous leader. Both are alleged to have occurred in Guatemala in the course of an ongoing dispute over indigenous land rights at the site of a mine owned by HudBay’s Guatemalan subsidiary.

Shin Imai | The Globe and Mail
July 31, 2013