MiningWatch Canada: Rape Victims Must Sign Away Rights to Get Remedy From Barrick

MiningWatch Canada: Rape Victims Must Sign Away Rights to Get Remedy From 
MiningWatch Canada, Rights & Accountability in Development,
EarthRights International 
UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 01/30/13 -- Following years of
denial, Barrick Gold is implementing a remedy program for victims of
rape by employees of its Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) mine in Papua
New Guinea (PNG). 
In order to receive a remedy package, women must enter into an
agreement in which "the claimant agrees that she will not pursue or
participate in any legal action against PJV, PRFA (Porgera
Remediation Framework Association Inc.) or Barrick in or outside of
PNG. PRFA and Barrick will be able to rely on the agreement as a bar
to any legal proceedings which may be brought by the claimant in
breach of the agreement."  
Included in the remedy options offered to women are "access to
phychosocial/trauma counseling" and "access to health care." "We do
not believe women should have to sign away rights to possible future
legal action in order to access the types of remedy Barrick is
offering these victims of rape and gang rape," says Catherine Coumans
of MiningWatch Canada, "this requirement is not best practice in
cases of non-judicial remedy." 
"We are also concerned that Barrick is not offering remedy to those
women who have been raped and gang raped by members of police Mobile
Squads who are being housed, fed and supported by PJV on PJV
property" says Tricia Feeney, Executive Director of Rights &
Accountability in Development. 
"Barrick appears to be rushing women through the claims process,"
says Rick Herz, Litigation Coordinator for EarthRights International,
which has brought several transnational lawsuits in U.S. courts
against extractive companies for similar abuses. "Women should not be
coerced into giving up their legal rights and, at a minimum, Barrick
should allow women to keep the remedial offers made to them open long
enough for them to seek legal counsel and evaluate their options." 
MiningWatch Canada, Rights & Accountability in Development and
EarthRights International are currently engaged in mediated
discussions with Barrick Gold as a result of a complaint filed with
the Canadian National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines. The
information and related documents provided in this release were
obtained outside of that process.  
Related Documents Available at:

--  Background Brief - Concerns regarding the Remediation Framework for
    women victims of sexual violence by Porgera Joint Venture security
    guards. January 29, 2013. 
--  A Framework of Remediation Initiatives in Response to Violence Against
    Women in the Porgera Valley 
--  OECD Complaint Against Barrick's Porgera Operations 
--  Legal Brief before the Standing Committee on the Foreign Affairs and
    International Development (FAAE) of the House of Commons by the
    International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School and the Center
    for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of
    Law. November 16, 2009. 

Catherine Coumans
MiningWatch Canada
(+1) 613-569-3439 
Patricia Feeney
Rights & Accountability in Development
(+44) (0) 1865-436-245 
Rick Herz
Litigation Coordinator for EarthRights International
(+1) 860-233-4938
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