Company's Remedies for Rape in Papua New Guinea Deeply Flawed
Legal experts at Columbia and Harvard law schools find major deficiencies with remedies given by multinational company to women raped by its security guards
For many years, indigenous people of the Porgera Valley, in Papua New Guinea, suffered brutal sexual and other assaults at the hands of mine security guards. Only after repeated pressure from human rights advocates did Canadian mining company Barrick Gold finally acknowledge the sexual assaults and create a mechanism to provide a remedy to rape survivors. Yet the process has left many survivors deeply unsatisfied.
This report analyzes Barrick’s remedy mechanism in light of human rights standards, and offers lessons learned for corporations, civil society, survivors and affected communities, and the international community. It considers the benefits, challenges, and limitations of remedy mechanisms created by companies and designed to redress gross human rights violations. The report is based on investigations over many years, including hundreds of interviews in Porgera before and during the implementation of the remedy mechanism.
Rather than company-created models, the report suggests an approach that brings companies, survivors, and communities into the joint design of the remedy process. This approach centers the survivors from the outset and can help address power differentials. The report also calls on the company to provide additional remedies to the assault survivors, void all legal waivers that women had to sign to receive a remedy, and provide urgent security protection to women currently at risk.
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