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  • Human Rights Research Center

Global Mining of Renewable Energy Resources Tied to Human Rights Abuses

June 9, 2023

Artisanal miners carry sacks of ore at the Shabara artisanal mine near Kolwezi on October 12, 2022. [Image credit: Junior Kannah/AFP via Getty Images]

Cited article by Katie Surma, Inside Climate News

HRRC supports the findings by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center which documents the hundreds of rights abuses in the mining industry. More safeguards must be implemented to protect the environment, workers, and communities where mining is taking place.

Article Summary

According to a new report by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, a UK-based human rights organization, over 90 organizations have committed hundreds of alleged human rights abuses in the past 12 years. The report documents 510 incidents including physical assaults, child labor, arbitrary arrests, detentions, environmental crimes involving polluting drinking water, and violating communities’ rights to be consulted about projects that affect them. Further, the Business and Human Rights Resource Center stated the abuses can be attributed to the US and other nations who have failed to put in place appropriate labor and environmental safeguards for the mining process.

Separate from this report, Human Rights Watch documented that the US allows for mining companies to "self-police" where companies will state that their supplies of materials have engaged in no improper conduct. Recently, US president Biden launched an Interagency Working Group to address these issues and reform exiting mining laws, but other nations and the European Union are quickly expanding their own legislation which will make it harder to conduct due diligence and ensure human rights abuses are not being committed.

Read HRRC contributor Lauren Salim's publication on Canadian mining operations and international human rights violations.


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