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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

CTC submits Request for Review to Canada’s OECD National Contact Point - Gyama Mine Project in Tibet

January 29, 2014

Contact: Carole Samdup, 514-512-4665

January 29, 2014, Montreal – The Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) today submitted a formal “request for review” to the office of Canada’s National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The request seeks review of the Copper Polymetallic Mine operated by Canadian company, China Gold International Resources Corporation Ltd, in the Gyama Valley in central Tibet. This is the first time a Tibet-related case has been submitted for review by the OECD.

The Gyama (ch: Jiama) mine operation has long been the subject of community protests related to human rights violations, environmental harm, and lack of stakeholder consultation. China Gold acquired rights to the mine in 2010. In 2013, a landslide at the mine killed 83 workers bringing international attention to the project. [1]

“As a Canadian company, China Gold enjoys certain rights and privileges that are available to all Canadian companies” said Carole Samdup, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee. “Those rights come with corresponding responsibilities including compliance with Canadian standards of behaviour as described in the OECD Guidelines.”

Among the recommendations made in the submission, the CTC is requesting an independent fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations associated with the mining project; full disclosure of information related to environmental risk and steps taken to mitigate that risk; and judicial protection for witnesses and victims according to international standards.

The OECD Guidelines for MNEs are recommendations to international business for conduct in such areas as labour, environment, consumer protection and the fight against corruption. The recommendations are made by the adhering governments and, although not binding, governments are committed to promoting their observance. [2] Canada’s National Contact Point is an interdepartmental committee chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. [3]

Full report: Request for Review Submitted to Canada’s National Contact Point Pursuant to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

[1] For a detailed report about the landslide, see: Assessment Report of the Recent Landslide Event in the Gyama Valley: Its Possible Cause and Impacts, Central Tibetan Administration, 9 April 2013, at http://tibet.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/AR-Gyama-9-April.pdf

[2] The OECD Guidelines for MNEs can be accessed at: http://mneguidelines.oecd.org

[3] Information about Canada’s National Contact Point is found here: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/ncp-pcn/index.aspx?lang=eng&menu_id=1&menu=R

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