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Material Matters: Using Regulation to Improve the Canadian Mining Industry’s Human Rights Record

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Author: Eksal, Holly
Canada has the most incorporated mining entities in the world. The Canadian mining industry has an international reputation as a mining power, but also one for human rights violations. The literature indicates that insufficient domestic accountability mechanisms, such as non-financial reporting, are one of the reasons why human rights violations persist in this industry. This study addresses the regulatory gap within Canadian securities regulations and identifies policy options aimed at improving the lack of accountability within the Canadian mining industry. Three policy options are evaluated, including: incorporating the term “salient human rights impacts” into the existing regulations; adjusting the definition of materiality to include human rights violations; and direct reporting to the federal government. Based off this analysis, a two-pronged approach including mandatory reporting on salient human rights impacts, alongside federal submissions and audits, is recommended as a possible solution to human rights violations occurring within the Canadian mining industry.
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