On 9 July 2020, 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and human rights organisations called on the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) to strip mining giant Rio Tinto of its status as a global human rights leader, following the company’s blasting of a 46,000 years old Aboriginal sacred site (Juukan Gorge) in Western Australia in May. You can find the respective Open Letter to CHRB below. PaCSIA fully endorses this call for action. Rio Tinto’s destruction of this sacred site is not an isolated incident. From our own work with communities affected by the Panguna gold and copper mine in Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) PaCSIA learned that this mine which, while in operation, was majority owned by Rio Tinto, destroyed cemeteries and sacred sites of the local population. People in Bougainville are still suffering from Rio Tinto’s destructive activities. Rio Tinto, however, is unwilling to take responsibility for the legacy it left behind on Bougainville. In PaCSIA’s view, Rio Tinto does not deserve a high ranking on the global Corporate Human Rights Benchmark.
Please find the open letter from 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and human rights organisations here: Letter to CHRB