Home | News    Friday 18 January 2013

Eritrea govt, Canadian firm used forced labour to construct a gold mine

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 18, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – A Canadian mining company has failed to stop serious human rights abuses against Eritrean employees working at a gold-mining exploitation project, a new report by Human Rights Watch unveils.

JPEG - 9.2 kb

The report released on Tuesday said Nevsun Resources Ltd has failed to stop Eritrean citizens conscripted into government service being used as forced labour at a gold-mining operations known as the Bisha project.

The report said a growing list of international mining firms are “rushing to invest” in Eritrea’s booming minerals sector risk involvement in serious abuses unless they take strong preventive measures.

“If mining companies are going to work in Eritrea, they need to make absolutely sure that their operations don’t rely on forced labor,” said Chris Albin-Lackey, business and human rights senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. “If they can’t prevent this, they shouldn’t move forward at all.”

The small Canadian firm which began the project in 2008 operates in a joint venture with Eritrea’s state-owned mining firm, the Eritrea National Mining Corporation (ENAMCO).

The group added that the use of conscript or forced labor in Eritrea is a longstanding human rights concern in the reclusive Horn of Africa nation.

Eritrea’s mandatory military service conscripts all citizens aged between 18 and 40 years (both men and women), into military duties for a period of 18 months.

"National service conscripts are often subjected to torture and other abusive forms of discipline. Many are forced to endure unhealthy living conditions and paltry remuneration that equates to just a few U.S. dollars per month. Conscripts who attempt to escape their service face imprisonment, torture, and other forms of human rights abuse. Their family members also face harassment and reprisal" the report said.

Most national service conscripts are assigned to the military, however in many cases, according to human rights watch, many young Eritrean citizens are forced to work indefinitely at state-owned construction sites under harsh and abusive conditions.

The rights group said most of the workers during the construction of the Bisha project came from the country’s national service program.

Two workers from the Bisha mine told the rights group that they were forced to work, while another one alleged that he was imprisoned for four months after he left without permission to attend a grandparent’s funeral.

“Conscripts who attempt to escape their service face imprisonment, torture and other forms of human-rights abuse. Their family members also face harassment and reprisal,” the report said.

Other foreign firms declined to respond to requests by HRW to comment on the issue.

Human Rights Watch called on foreign mining companies to reject working with local contractors which are involved in the use of forced labour and further urged the companies to insist on the right to investigate all allegations of abuse connected to their operations.

The isolated Red Sea nation currently faces United Nations sanction for supports to the Al-Qaeda allied Somali militant group, al-Shabab.

Ethiopia and other regional bodies such as the IGAD - the Inter- Governmental Authority on Development - have accused Eritrea of being a destabilising factor in the region.

In a report, the UN Security Council monitoring group said Eritrea was behind a foiled attempt to bomb an African Union leaders’ summit in Ethiopia in 2011.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 22 January 2013 08:37, by watches

    You obstruction impress that wampum to make active procure different diction Replica Rolex which leave up you immensely appurtenant sustain. But here you rightful set to think to spend 100-200 dollars to nullity advance a Omega Replica originate modify. It’s as classy for the typical a culmin

    repondre message

  • 26 May 2013 03:22, by seth0098

    For the most furniture part, I am in agreement with bean bag chairs what you wrote. couch It’s certainly reading furniture what others have to say on the subject matter.visit their sitesofa

    repondre message

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The UNAMID internal report on mass rape in Tabit. 2014-11-21 06:09:21 What UNAMID really said about their investigation of mass sexual assaults on Tabit: The internal report on what investigators found By Eric Reeves November 20, 2014 - On November 12, 2014 (...)

Bullying Darfur 2014-11-13 18:13:39 By Namaa Al-Mahdi November 13, 2014 - “We broke their backs in Abu Karshola, I doubt they have recovered since,” said a prominent Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) member about their counter attack on (...)

Mass Sexual Violence: UNAMID declares it finds "no evidence" 2014-11-12 08:22:38 By Eric Reeves November 10, 2014 - For over a week reports from Darfuris in the Tabit area (45 kilometre southwest of El-Fashir, North Darfur) have provided detailed accounts of the mass rape of (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Sudan Democracy First Group condemns wave of arbitrary arrests in Sudan 2014-09-25 05:17:35 Sudan Democracy First Group 25 September 2014 - In a desperate attempt to prevent a series of events commemorating the victims of the September 2013 protests, Sudan’s notorious National (...)

HRW calls on UN rights body to press Sudan to investigate murder of peaceful protesters 2014-09-24 21:24:09 Human Rights Watch One Year On, No Justice for Protester Deaths (Geneva, September 23, 2014) – The United Nations Human Rights Council should call on Sudan to account immediately for the death (...)

Hundreds walk for peace in South Sudan 2014-09-23 08:30:16 National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR) PRESS RELEASE Juba, 21 September 2014 - Hundreds of people took to the streets of the South Sudan capital Jubato ‘Walk for Peace’and demand (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.