Corporate Watchdog Applauds Canada’s Courts for Allowing Lawsuit Against Nevsun Resources Over the Use of Slave Labor in Eritrea

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Americas & Asia

October 07, 2016

*Over 137,000 Demand Nevsun Resources Stop Relying on Slaved Labor at Bisha Mine* Yesterday, a Canadian Court ruled that a lawsuit against Nevsun Resources Ltd alleging slave labour at its Bisha mine can proceed in British Columbia. Nevsun Resources argued that the case should be dismissed and that any lawsuit against them should be heard in Eritrea, not Canada. In reaction to that ruling, Rosa Kouri, Campaigns Director for SumOfUs, an international corporate watchdog organization, issued the following statement: > “This is a landmark ruling, and is an important first step in seeking justice from a Canadian mining company directly implicated in a horrific case of modern slavery. > Companies like Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources, who have profited from slave labor and the abuse of human rights, must be held accountable. We applaud Canada’s judicial process for recognizing that important investigations like this can go forward, and providing a mechanism for these workers to seek justice. > This decision sends a clear signal to companies that want to follow Nevsun’s model and profit from slave labor -- that they will be investigated and held accountable for taking part in crimes against humanity. We will be watching the case closely. ” A petition last year from SumOfUs called on Nevsun Resources to stop profiting off of slave labor in the Bisha mine, located in the East African country of Eritrea. The petition, which has been signed by over 137,000 people, cites survivor reports of torture, rape, and summary execution. Eritreans are made to work mining jobs under what the government calls "national service" for international corporations like Nevsun, which opted into the system when it opened the Bisha mine. While few dispute that the Eritrean state has been involved in significant human rights abuses, at the time Nevsun was the only foreign mining company paying royalties and taxes to the Eritrean treasury, with a value of $14 billion over ten years. This is the first time a case against a mining company for alleged abuses in overseas operations has been allowed to proceed in British Columbia. It was allowed to continue as long as the six plaintiffs file separate lawsuits. View the petition here: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/nevsun-slavery SumOfUs has also successfully campaigned against mining giant Newmont, targeting their CEO, who agreed to stop building its Conga mine in Peru without community consent. # # #