|Globe and Mail proclaims on rapes in Papua New Guinea|
by Catherine Coumans, http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/miningwatch/2013/02/globe-and-mail-proclaims-rapes-papua-new-guinea
On February 13, The Globe and Mail’s editorial board weighed in on the important issue of rapes by security guards at Barrick’s mine in Papua New Guinea (“Give due credit to Barrick Gold”). Remarkably, The Globe determined that the deal Barrick is offering women who were raped and gang raped by employees of its Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea“seems fair.” In return for such things as “counselling, access to micro-credit and medical care” Barrick requires of a rape victim that “she will not pursue or participate in any legal action” against the company “in or outside of PNG.”
Barrick’s deal, however, is neither “fair,” nor is it best practice. What Barrick is offering is not an out of court settlement. These indigenous women, who are poor and have very low levels of formal education, have not benefitted from any of the protections or safeguards offered by a court of law - and if they take what Barrick is offering them they never will. In similar cases that MiningWatch has documented of private agreements from the US and Australia, claimants are not required to sign away rights to future legal action on the same claims - they are even entitled to use compensation money to sue the entity that paid it.
Like Barrick, The Globe has long ignored this story despite the fact that local leaders from Porgera have come half way across the world to Canada to issue press releases and raise alarm about the rapes at Barrick’s annual meetings in Toronto since 2008. Globe reporters were always in attendance, but did not take the time to interview these community leaders.