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Business and Human Rights

    February 28, 2011

    About 2,000 Indian farmers could lose their livelihoods in the next month if a proposed US$12 billion steel plant operation involving South Korean steel giant POSCO goes ahead, Amnesty International warned today.

    The Indian authorities have given POSCO conditional clearance to establish a steel plant and port operation on about 4,000 hectares of land in the coastal Jagatsinghpur district of the eastern state of Orissa.

    The area includes land on which local farmers are dependent for their livelihoods, and to which they may have rights under Indian law.

    The farmers’ claims to the land have not been properly settled, despite the fact that official investigations have raised serious concerns about the failures of Orissa State to protect land rights in the context of the steel project.

    State police could take over the land during March if the authorities fail to recognize the farmers’ right to use it.

    January 25, 2011

    Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth today filed an official complaint against oil giant Shell for breaches of basic standards for responsible business set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The organisations claim that Shell’s use of discredited and misleading information to blame the majority of oil pollution on saboteurs in its Niger Delta operations has breached the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The complaint was filed with UK and Netherlands government contact points for the OECD..

    Tomorrow (Wednesday 26 January) Shell will be under scrutiny for its environmental and human rights impacts during a hearing in the Dutch Parliament on the company’s activities in Nigeria.

    In the mid 1990s Shell accepted that much of the oil pollution in the Niger Delta was due to the company’s own failures. However, the company now blames sabotage by communities and criminals for most of the problem, citing misleading figures that purport to show as much as 98% of oil spills being caused by sabotage.

    November 06, 2009

    Amnesty International’s Brief in support of Bill C-300

    An Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries

    Presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

    6 November 2009

    Amnesty strongly supports the important purpose of Bill C-300 -  ensuring “that corporations engaged in mining, oil or gas activities and receiving support from the Government of Canada act in a manner consistent with international environmental best practices and with Canada’s commitments to international human rights standards.” Amnesty ultimately believes not only that human rights can be good for business, but also that business can be good for human rights. For these reasons, Amnesty strongly supports Bill C-300 and urges all Members of Parliament to vote in favour of this important legislation.

     

    December 3rd, 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal industrial disaster in India. Within two weeks of that horrific chemical leak, over 8,000 people had died. Another 12,000 have died since from gas-related diseases. Some 500,000 survivors have suffered injury and disability.

    Most minerals used to produce cell phones come from the mines in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  The civil war there, with a death toll of 5 million over the past 15 years, is financed by the sale of these minerals.

    Villagers protest against the mining project during a visit by Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu KyiMarch 13, 2013. Photo:REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines (now called Turquoise Hill Resources) lied publicly about its Myanmar joint venture selling copper to Burmese security forces, says a new report by Amnesty International. Ivanhoe Mines also used secrecy jurisdictions in the Caribbean to evade scrutiny over the sale of assets in Myanmar (Burma) and to dodge Canada’s economic sanctions against Myanmar at the time. A breach of these sanctions is a criminal offence.

    Do you live in the Vancouver Lower Mainland? If so, join us for a free webinar on March 17 at 7 PM.

    Register now!

    We have all heard deeply disturbing reports about Canadian mining companies involved in human rights violations around the world, including in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

    Join this webinar to find out what you can do to help hold Canadian mining companies accountable for harming people in other countries, and to make sure that people who have been harmed by Canadian companies are able to seek justice in Canada.

    This webinar is for residents of the Vancouver Lower Mainland who are interested in human rights and mining justice. We will bring together people from different political ridings to strategize about lobbying their Member of Parliament (MP).

    Special guest: a local MP will join us and talk about how easy and effective it is to talk to your Member of Parliament about issues you are concerned about.

    This is a public panel, co-organized by Amnesty International Canada and Breaking the Silence, featuring youth activists from Guatemala and Atlantic Canada. Panelists will share and exchange stories and experiences with social justice and activism. All are welcome to attend. 

    This public event kicks of Breaking the Silence's annual gathering, which will take place the following two days. 

    CANADA PUBLIC SPEAKING TOUR: The human rights costs of Canadian extractive industries in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador

    Learn about the impacts of Canadian extractive projects on their communities and how they are leading successful campaigns to defend their territory from corporate incursion.

    GUEST SPEAKERS: 
    Yanira Cortez Estevez (El Salvador), judge of the Latin American Water Tribunal; Bernardo Belloso (El Salvador), president of the Association for Development of El Salvador – CRIPDES; Aleisar Arana Morales (Guatemala): president of the Xinca Parliament; and Javier Mejía (Nicaragua) economist and Coordinator of Natural Resources Management Area at Humboldt Centre. 

     

    Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) inhale toxic dust as they mine the cobalt that powers the batteries we rely on for our phones and laptops. Yet electronics manufacturers – global brands including Apple and Samsung – won’t tell us if their cobalt supply chains are tainted by child labour. They have a responsibility to do so –to check for and address child labour in their supply chains, setting an example for the rest of the industry to follow.

    TAKE ACTION

    Economic players, especially trans-national companies, enjoy unprecedented power and influence across the world’s economies.There is global concern over the ways in which trans-national companies benefit from economic globalization while all too often evading accountability when their operations result in environmental or human rights abuses. Canada, in particular, has been called upon by international human rights bodies to more effectively regulate Canadian companies' overseas operations and sanction those who violate human rights. 

    At the heart of Amnesty International’s concerns are the individuals and communities whose human rights may be at risk.

    Amnesty is calling for: 

    Hey everybody!

    Did you know that Shell Oil company has been extracting oil in the NIger Delta for over 50 years? And that there are hundreds of spills in the region every year, causing huge harm to the local population?

    On Novemeber 10th we will be marking the 20th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa, an activist that fought for the rights of the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta area: he protested against the exploitation and violation of human rights caused by the operations of multinationals such as Shell.

    There will be:
    - a presentation
    - a discussion session
    - a letter writing session
    and....
    FREE PIZZA!!

    “We breathe polluted air. We drink polluted water. We farm in contaminated land and eat contaminated crops. We live in a contaminated environment. All because of oil pollution.” – Community activist, Niger Delta 

    In collaboration with AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL VANCOUVER

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