DPLF sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to express our support for the creation of an Extractive Sector Human Rights Ombudsperson. DPLF urged the Canadian government to ensure that the Ombudsperson’s office is independent and able to effectively investigate complaints of human rights violations by Canadian companies operating abroad. Furthermore, this office should have the mandate to advance Canada’s extraterritorial obligations (ETOs) to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights in the context of extractive industries, in light of international standards on business and human rights.
As discussed in the report The Impact of Canadian Mining in Latin America and Canada’s Responsibility, the Canadian extractive industry has been implicated in violations of environmental, economic, and cultural rights in the region. Moreover, the report also identified policies and practices of the Canadian government that have enabled human right violations in Latin America. This demonstrates the need for an Extractive Sector Human Rights Ombudsperson with fact-finding powers independent from the government and extractive industry, to hold companies accountable for human rights violations abroad.