UN Human Rights unit roasts Canada over mining, aboriginal treatment

UN Human Rights unit roasts Canada over mining, aboriginal treatmentA United Nations committee, which is set to issue a report later this month on Canada’s conservative government’s human rights record, has requested authorities to explain how it deals with violations of rights complaints, especially by mining companies.

According to Canadian Press, the group — comprised of 18 experts — asked the federal government to provide answers to 24 separate questions about how it implements the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. They also asked for specifics on how it monitors the human rights conduct of Canadian resource companies operating abroad, as a few of them continue to face lawsuits alleging abuses.

The committee heard repeated concerns about Canada’s extractives industry, the treatment of aboriginals and anti-terrorism measures from two dozen groups, including the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International.

The UN report is the first look at Canadian human rights in 10 years. Its human rights committee is currently meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, ahead of finalizing its report and is hearing from Canadian non-government groups, including Amnesty, and from the federal government.