|Export credit agencies||Export Development Canada|
Government Squanders Opportunity to Hold Extractive Companies to Account
(Ottawa- March 26, 2009) Today’s government announcement on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has squandered the important consensus reached by industry and civil society organizations on how to ensure that the overseas operations of Canadian extractive companies adhere to international environmental and human rights standards. Almost two years ago, the multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to the National Roundtables on CSR in the Extractive Sector submitted its consensus report to the Canadian government. Today’s long-awaited response ignores the report’s central recommendations.
Click here for complete paper in pdf
Prepared by Özgür Can and Sara Seck, for the ECA-Watch, Halifax Initiative Coalition and ESCR-Net
International human rights law has traditionally focused on establishing the obligations owed by states to individuals. Much recent attention has been given to the question of whether non-state actors, such as transnational corporations, can be considered subjects of international law and as such duty bearers of international human rights obligations. However, less attention has been given to the equally significant question of whether financiers of transnational corporate activities have an obligation to ensure that the activities they support comply with international human rights norms. This paper will explore the international human rights obligations of one type of financial institution: officially supported export credit and investment insurance agencies (Export Credit Agencies or ECAs). ECAs are primarily public or publicly mandated institutions that support and subsidise national trade and investment activities, particularly in developing and emerging markets.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) tabled, in June 2005, a landmark report on Mining in Developing Countries and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The report recommended that the Canadian government move away from its current voluntary approach to CSR. It called for policies that condition public assistance for Canadian companies on compliance with international human rights and environmental standards, including core labour rights. The report also identified the need for legislation to hold companies accountable for their actions overseas.
The Government failed to adopt the majority of SCFAIT’s recommendations, but it did commit to hosting a series of national roundtables. These Roundtables were to identify ways for Canadian extractive companies to meet or exceed international CSR standards and best practices.
Policy and Government Relations
Export Development Canada (EDC)
151 O'Connor Street
COLOMBIA: THE STRUGGLE AGAINST PRIVATIZATION OF TELECOM
This meeting will be in English and Spanish
SPEAKER: Jorge Lerma, President, Union Sindical de Trabajadores de las Communicaciones (USTC)
WHEN: 7 pm, Tuesday, December 2, 2003
WHERE: PSAC Meeting Rm, Ground Floor, 233 Gilmour Street
SPONSORED BY: CUPE, CUPW, PSAC, ODLC, Sisters in Solidarity, CLC, CEP, CAW, NGO Working Group on EDC
October 27, 2003
Mr. A. Ian Gillespie
President and CEO
Export Development Canada
151 O’Connor street,
Ottawa, ON K1A 1K3
The Hon. Pierre Pettigrew
Minister of International Trade
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive, Tower B, 5th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
Re.: Draft OECD recommendation on Common Approaches on Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits: 2003 Review – Revised version 1
Dear Mr. Gillespie and Minister Pettigrew:
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to comment on the ‘Common Approaches on Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits: 2003 Review – Revised version 1’ (Rev. 1).