Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Press Responses: July 10, 2006

Government warned about risk of mining accidents overseas
Ministry briefing highlighted danger, but prompted no changes in rules
SIMON TUCK (Globe & Mail)

OTTAWA -- Senior government officials were warned more than two years ago that Canadian mining companies with overseas operations could "seriously embarrass Canada" if they didn't take steps to reduce the risk of a major environmental accident.

The Legal Obligations With Respect to Human Rights and Export Credit Agencies - June 23, 2006

Click here for complete paper in pdf

Prepared by Özgür Can and Sara Seck, for the ECA-Watch, Halifax Initiative Coalition and ESCR-Net

International human rights law has traditionally focused on establishing the obligations owed by states to individuals. Much recent attention has been given to the question of whether non-state actors, such as transnational corporations, can be considered subjects of international law and as such duty bearers of international human rights obligations. However, less attention has been given to the equally significant question of whether financiers of transnational corporate activities have an obligation to ensure that the activities they support comply with international human rights norms. This paper will explore the international human rights obligations of one type of financial institution: officially supported export credit and investment insurance agencies (Export Credit Agencies or ECAs). ECAs are primarily public or publicly mandated institutions that support and subsidise national trade and investment activities, particularly in developing and emerging markets.

Event: 2006 National Roundtables - June 14 - November 16, 2006

Background | Roundtable Process | When and Where | How to Participate | Monthly Updates

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) tabled, in June 2005, a landmark report on Mining in Developing Countries and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The report recommended that the Canadian government move away from its current voluntary approach to CSR. It called for policies that condition public assistance for Canadian companies on compliance with international human rights and environmental standards, including core labour rights. The report also identified the need for legislation to hold companies accountable for their actions overseas.

The Government failed to adopt the majority of SCFAIT’s recommendations, but it did commit to hosting a series of national roundtables. These Roundtables were to identify ways for Canadian extractive companies to meet or exceed international CSR standards and best practices.

Issue Brief: IFI Backgrounders for the National Roundtables on Extractives and CSR - March 2006


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