The Global Justice Clinic announces the release of the Executive Summary of a new report, Byen Konte, Mal Kalkile? Human Rights and Environmental Impacts of the Mining Sector in Haiti. The Executive Summary previews a full-length report, co-authored with the Haiti Justice Initiative of the University of California’s Hastings College of Law, to be published in October 2015. The report sets out the risks and realities of modern gold mining and its implications for human rights and the environment in Haiti. The Executive Summary is being released today to coincide with a forum on mining in northern Haiti.
Although there is no active mining in Haiti yet, interest in tapping Haiti’s mineral reserves has increased in the past decade. International actors, including multinational companies, the World Bank, the International Financial Corporation and the International Monetary Fund have contributed to developing the mining industry. Since early 2013, however, mining activity has been on hold as the main actors await reform of the country’s outdated mining law.
Minerals can be exploited only once. This moment, before mining has begun, presents a unique opportunity for Haiti to hold a robust public debate about the risks and benefits of mining for the Haitian people, and to implement preventive measures to avoid future human rights abuses and environmental harms. Such a debate requires transparency, information-sharing, and active engagement of Haitian communities. Until now, most discussions about mining have occurred among government officials, company stakeholders, and international financial institutions behind closed doors. There is a dearth of information in the public domain about what gold mining entails, what challenges it poses, what opportunities it presents, and what it may mean for communities and the country as a whole. The purpose of the forthcoming report is to help fill that gap.
Click here for the English version of the Executive Summary.
Click here for the French version of the Executive Summary.
Click here for the Creole version of the Executive Summary.