Privatized Remedy and Human Rights: Re-thinking Project-Level Grievance Mechanisms

This brief was prepared by MiningWatch Canada and Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) to accompany a panel organized by both organizations titled “Privatized Remedy and Human Rights: Re-thinking Project-Level Grievance Mechanisms.” The panel was organized for the Third Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights held in Geneva on December 1, 2014. The purpose of this brief is to raise important concerns regarding the implementation of company-led project-level non-judicial grievance mechanisms at the Porgera Joint Venture mine in Papua New Guinea and the North Mara Gold Minein Tanzania. It does so based in part on field assessments carried out by the authors at these mining sites. The aim of the brief is to stimulate and inspire debate on the matter put forth in the paper.

The brief starts by outlining the ongoing violations of human rights by mine security and police at the mining sites mentioned. It then moves on to discuss the disparaty between the rhetoric for implementing a project-level grievance mechanism and the reality of the functioning and outcomes of such mechanisms in practice. The key concerns are illustrates with examples from the mines in Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. A separate section is dedicated to the phenomenon of legal waivers that at times form part of the grievance handling process.

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