Claims of sexual abuses in Tanzania blow to Barrick Gold - The Globe and Mail
Just two weeks after the fatal shooting of seven people at one of its Tanzanian gold mines, Barrick Gold Corp. is investigating allegations of sexual assault by about a dozen police and security guards at the same violence-plagued mine.
The Toronto-based corporate giant, the world’s biggest gold miner, is already reeling from allegations of gang rape by its security guards at another of its subsidiaries, in Papua New Guinea.
The deaths and alleged abuses at the Barrick sites, which began years ago but failed to gain wide attention until recently, are accelerating Barrick’s efforts to introduce stronger rules for investigating human-rights problems at its 26 mines around the world. The latest case comes as investors have been urging Canadian companies operating overseas in tough and lawless environments to push for more transparency instead of tolerating human-rights abuses.
Barrick recently became the first Canadian mining company to sign up to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, an international set of guidelines for extractive industries, which oblige it to investigate and report any credible information about human-rights abuses at its workplaces.
At Barrick’s controversial North Mara gold mine in Tanzania, investigators have interviewed about 10 women who allege that they were arrested at the mine site and sexually assaulted by company security guards or Tanzanian police over the past several years.The allegations were discovered in the course of a review into a separate human-rights issue at the mine. A preliminary investigation by Barrick’s subsidiary, African Barrick Gold, found that the allegations were credible.
Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.