PBI-Mexico accompanied lawyer calls for European due diligence legislation instruments for Indigenous rights

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On October 13, PBI-Mexico posted this quote from Juan Carlos Flores, a lawyer with the Peoples’ Front in Defence of Land and Water:

“It is necessary for Europe’s due diligence legislation to include instruments that guarantee the opening of a procedure before the European Union justice in case of violations of the human rights of indigenous peoples.”

The same could likely be said about due diligence legislation in Canada.

Canada represents about 75 per cent of the total foreign investment related to the mining sector in Mexico. Put another way, roughly 70 per cent of foreign-owned mining companies operating in Mexico are based in Canada.

Earlier this year, PBI-Mexico posted on Facebook this excerpt: ′′Mexico tops the list of countries with the largest number of mining conflicts in Latin America, with a total of 58 cases, of which 29 belong to Canadian mine projects.”

That figure came from a report by the Observatory of Mining Conflicts (OCMAL).

Global Witness has documented 30 lethal attacks against land and environmental defenders in Mexico in 2020, a 67 per cent increase from 2019. Logging was linked to almost a third of these attacks, and half of all the attacks in the country were directed against indigenous communities.

Canada does not have due diligence legislation in place that recognizes and addresses (through enforcement mechanisms and meaningful consequences) the dangers faced by human rights defenders (HRDs) who challenge the impacts of Canadian transnational corporations and investment banks on their communities.

On May 31, the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) released draft model legislation to provide parliamentarians with a blueprint for an international corporate accountability law in Canada.

The model legislation can be read here.

The CNCA has noted: “Several European jurisdictions have passed, or are considering, comprehensive human rights due diligence legislation – most notably France’s 2017 Devoir de vigilence legislation, and the 2021 resolution of the European Commission outlining its forthcoming human rights due diligence legislation.”

But it adds: “Canada has failed to establish rules that require Canadian companies to respect human rights and the environment overseas.”

We continue to follow the progress of due diligence legislation in both Canada and the European Union.

Emily of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability and Karen from Above Ground introduce draft Canadian due diligence legislation.

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