Barrick Under Global Pressure to Withdraw Conditions on Remedy for Papua New Guinea Rape Victims

Since January, 2013, MiningWatch Canada has raised concern about the fact that Barrick Gold is seeking legal immunity from victims of rape by mine security guards at the company’s Porgera Joint Venture Mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG). If these rape victims accept an individual remedy package they must sign a waiver that assures Barrick that they will never sue the company in PNG or anywhere else in the world. We have raised this concern in public letters to the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (UNHCHR) on March 19 and April 2, 2013. On May 14, 77 global organizations sent a letter to the UNHCHR expressing their deep concern over this. For more background, see Barrick Seeks Immunity from Rape Victims at its Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea.

Under pressure, Barrick posted a note to its web site on April 16, 2013, stating that there is a new “version” of the legal waiver that “contains much narrower terms.” We have repeatedly asked for a copy of the new terms to be made public but none has been released by Barrick to date. We therefore sent another letter to the UNHCHR on May 14. She, or rather her office (the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights), has responded. The OHCHR’s opinion makes some important positive contributions but also raises some serious concerns. Here’s the opinion, and our letter in response.

UN OHCHR Opinion: Allegations regarding the Porgera Joint Venture remedy framework

Letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of September 4, 2013

 

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