Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Corporate Accountability

    May 30, 2020
    The Right to a Healthy Environment: An Update on Quesnel Lake and the Mount Polley Disaster

    Many of us are looking forward to the late summer when physical distancing measures may ease and we can begin to venture out again to our favorite campsites, cabins, and fishing spots. Last August, I spent a week in British Columbia’s Cariboo region when I led a caravan of kids and adults from Vancouver’s lower mainland to the shores of Quesnel Lake in Secwepemc traditional territory.

    Over that August long weekend, we joined dozens of residents and their supporters to celebrate the community’s resilience over the five long years since the Mount Polley mine disaster of August 2014. 

    May 27, 2020
    Cracks in the “Canada Brand”: profit before people creates high-risk conditions for communities made vulnerable by the pandemic 

    Workers’ concerns ignored at Canadian meat packing plants and hundreds made sick. Amazon employees fired for speaking out about conditions on warehouse floors. Energy workers expected to continue working despite outbreaks at mine sites and an inability to physically distance. Construction workers unable to wash their hands on the job because there is no running water. Mining considered an essential service that employs workers from across the country while small communities struggle to keep away visitors. These are some of the dire stories being shared across Canada as the pandemic reveals the impact of business decisions on workers and communities. While the situation varies from community to community, and some companies have taken steps to suspend operations in order to protect workers and communities, there is growing concern that not all companies are truly respecting human rights through this crisis.

    April 24, 2020

    Today marks the seven-year anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in Bangladesh, which tragically left more than 1,100 workers dead and thousands more injured. Covid-19 has created new threats to the lives and livelihoods of garment workers.

    Standing in solidarity with Bangladesh garment sector workers, and with garment sector workers in all countries, Amnesty International joins Canadian labour and civil society organizations in urging Canadian brands, retailers, and the Canadian government, to address workers rights.

    Here is our joint statement:

    Protect the women who make our clothes: Canada’s unions and civil society organizations call for action

    Seven years after the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse, Bangladesh garment sector workers now confront even more risk and vulnerability in the fight against Covid-19.

    Canada’s unions and civil society organizations are calling for immediate relief for workers and protection of rights in global supply chains.

    April 17, 2020

    The Month of Action for Mining Justice is an opportunity to deepen your understanding of mining justice and to take action in solidarity with mining-affected communities.  

    Although we derive many benefits from mining, it is absolutely crucial that the mining industry adhere to international human rights standards. Too often, we hear of human rights abuses related to mining, including: forced labour; child labour; people threatened, harmed, raped or killed for opposing mining projects; unsafe working conditions; toxic contamination of water; people forcibly evicted from their homes; a lack of respect for Indigenous rights; and more.

    On May 14th  join us for a mining justice webinar and hear directly from people whose lives have been negatively impacted by Canadian-owned mines in Asia, Africa and South America and who are fighting for justice.

    During the webinar, we will also launch a parliamentary e-petition. By signing the petition and sharing it with your contacts you can help us convince the Canadian government to hold Canadian companies accountable for human rights abuses overseas.

    April 11, 2020
    Protecting communities, supporting workers and their families should be Canada's priority

    The global pandemic is a frightening time for humanity. Yet all around us, people are working hard to adapt to our current reality, support one another, protect the vulnerable, and together dream of a better future. In urging all levels of government to respect human rights and protect essential workers and their families, frontline healthcare workers, and communities, we are speaking together with one, unified voice. 

    People across Canada living in remote, rural and Indigenous communities with lesser access to health services, hospital beds and crucially, ventilators to help the critically ill, are calling on all of us to help them shut down the known pathways of infection into their communities.  They are asking us to help them stay healthy by staying away. 

    March 11, 2020
    Quesnel Lake/Yuct Ne Senxiymetkwe: a Love Story 

    Christine McLean is ready to retire. After running a successful electrical business in Calgary for the last 20 years, the Kamloops, BC born and raised McLean planned to move back to BC with her husband, Eric. In 2014 they began laying plans to spend their retirement years living in what Christine describes as, “paradise” – a gorgeous log cabin on a large, treed lot perched above the stunningly beautiful Mitchell Bay on Quesnel Lake. For Christine, it is a place for the spirit to rest and the heart to soar.

    For Secwepemc and Nuxalk activist Nuskmata (Jacinda Mack), Quesnel Lake is part of her cultural heritage. Raised in the northern Secwepemc community of Xat’sull, Nuskamata spent her youth out on the land and eventually came to work for her Secwepemc community as the Natural Resources manager. Her mother taught her that for Indigenous peoples, “our economy walks on the land and swims in the waters.” She calls the relationship between her community and the land a ‘love story’. 

    November 25, 2019
    Esther Kiobel with some of the 30,000 messages of solidarity from Amnesty supporters

    The Kiobel v Shell case resumed at The Hague on October 8, 2019 and for the first time heard accounts from individuals who accuse Shell of offering them bribes to give fake testimonies that led to the ‘Ogoni Nine’ being sentenced to death and executed in Nigeria.

    Three men claimed that Nigerian government officials and Shell staff offered them money and promises of jobs and houses to testify against the Ogoni Nine. They said that, together with other prosecution witnesses, they were asked to sign statements that had been prepared for them and instructed to make specific statements during the Ogoni Nine court hearing aimed at incriminating the men. Renowned activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinem Kiobel and the others had been accused of involvement in the murder of four traditional rulers, who were opposed to Saro-Wiwa’s campaign against the oil industry.

    November 25, 2019
    The BC Government must do the right thing: pull the pipes from Quesnel Lake

    Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) commissioner Gay McDougall, Nuskmata Mack, June McCue, Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, and Chief Don Tom, June 2019, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) ©Amnesty International Canada

    “Addressing the harms caused by the Mount Polley mine disaster is a small part of what the Province must do to safeguard the collective rights of Indigenous peoples to our lands and cultures,” Bev Sellars, acclaimed author and former Chief of the Xats’ull Indian Band.

    May 06, 2019
    Ruling on Shell a 'vital step towards justice' for Nigerian widows

    On May 1, the District Court of The Hague, Netherlands, issued an interim ruling in the case brought by Esther Kiobel and three other women with regard to Shell’s involvement in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the Nigerian military.

    It ruled in favour of the plaintiffs: the court does have jurisdiction over the case and that this should not be time barred.

    The court also ruled that Shell should hand over some confidential internal documents to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and that they would have the opportunity to examine witnesses. The court will address the substance of the case next.

    This decision marks a vital step towards justice for Esther and the others and sends important message to other victims around the world who are seeking to hold powerful corporations to account but struggle to access justice.

    April 17, 2019
    Amnesty Launches New "Call the Minister" Action for Justice for Mount Polley Mine Disaster

    February 14, 2019

    This week, a Dutch court in The Hague heard the first arguments in an historic case against Shell brought by Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula. It was a long, challenging, emotional day.

    The hearing started with two powerful statements by Esther Kiobel and Victoria Bera. The widows’ lawyer claimed that Shell was instrumental to the human rights violations of the Ogoni people. They argued that: Shell requested the Nigerian regime to end the peaceful protests against its operations in Ogoniland; provided logistics as well as money to crash the demonstrations; and had a crucial role in the arrest, torture and execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinem Kiobel, Baribor Bera and the rest of the Ogoni 9.

    Shell challenged these allegations on procedural grounds/jurisdiction, stating that the case should be time barred and should belong to a Nigerian court rather than a Dutch one because the events took place long ago, in Nigeria.

    Esther Kiobel’s lawyer challenged these arguments, and asked the court to order the release of 1000 documents marked as confidential by Shell.

    February 14, 2019

    In collaboration with the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, we are launching a daily tweet-your-MP campaign that will continue until an effective ombudsperson is in place with the #Power2Investigate. Please join us!

    We’re in a stand-off. Signs show that an ombudsperson may be appointed soon, but we are worried about the government delivering on its promise of real investigatory powers. 

    We need everyone’s voice to help convince the Government of Canada to stand strong and to keep its promise to respect international human rights!

    It all comes down to the #Power2Investigate. Companies alleged to have committed human rights abuses are unlikely to voluntarily participate in a robust investigation needed to hold them accountable. Canada must immediately appoint an effective ombudspersonwith the #Power2Investigate.
     
    Join us online for a daily twitter storm!  

    January 23, 2019
    On January 23, an important legal case against Nevsun Resources will be heard before the Supreme Court of Canada.

    In 2014, three Eritrean men filed a claim against Nevsun seeking accountability for disturbing human rights abuses -including allegations of torture and forced labour - during the construction of the company’s gold and copper mine in Bisha, Eritrea. According to documents filed in the BC court, the company had prior knowledge of the country’s National Service Program and understood the likelihood that its business relationships would involve the use of conscripted labour. The United Nations has said that the widespread use of forced labour in the country may constitute a crime against humanity.

    The plaintiffs are asking Canadian courts to hold Nevsun accountable for benefitting from violations of their human rights. Bringing these crimes to justice is vital because impunity only fuels the belief that those responsible for corporate crimes are untouchable.

    January 09, 2019

    January 17th marks the one year anniversary of the Canadian government's announcement to create an independent Ombudsperson that would enable people harmed by Canadian companies overseas to have access to justice in Canada.

    We celebrated the announcement, thrilled that Canada would finally be "Open for Justice". Yet one whole year has passed, and the Ombudsperson is still not in place! Equally concerning is whether or not the office will be granted the powers it needs to be effective. The  Canadian government did promise a year ago that Canada's Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise would be independent, transparent, and have the power and tools necessary to conduct effective investigations. But we are still waiting to see whether they follow through on their word.

    We need your help! 

    January 09, 2019

    DROP PROJECT DRAGONFLY

    Google publicly exited the search engine market in China in 2010, citing restrictions to freedom of expression online. Since then, the Chinese government has strengthened its controls over the internet and intensified its crackdown on freedom of expression. 

    Indicating a reversal in strategy, Google is now preparing to re-enter the Chinese search engine market, and is developing a new, search engine app codenamed “Dragonfly” that would facilitate China’s online censorship and surveillance. This would represent an alarming capitulation by Google on human rights, and a dark day for internet freedom as it would legitimize China’s model of internet repression for other governments and set a precedent for tech companies compromising human rights in exchange for access to new markets.

    It has been reported in the media that Google is now planning to drop its Dragonfly project. While this is amazing news, it isn't confirmed yet, so we intend to keep the pressure on until it it official.

    Pages

    Subscribe to Corporate Accountability
    rights