Abbott govt overdue on regulating to stop Aust mining companies overseas abuses

media-releases

Responding to the shocking report on the activities of Australian mining companies operating in Africa, Greens overseas aid and development spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called for federal government assistance for the relatives of those killed and for the investigation to be reopened. (Fairfax: http://bit.ly/1SeBOlP )

"With 183 Australian-owned companies operating in Africa and numerous cases of workers' being killed on the job, local people losing their land and their livelihood and massive off shore profit shifting, the federal government has a responsibility to assist affected communities," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The Abbott government should abide by its international human rights obligations that require countries to regulate how companies operate abroad.

"The needed clean-up of Australian business activities in Africa should start with the activities of Anvil Mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 50 men, women and children were murdered in the Kilwa massacre in 2004.

"Despite the Anvil CEO, Bill Turner, admitting that his company flew Congolese troops into Kilwa no action has been taken to achieve justice for the victims and their families.

"The Australian Federal Police investigation of this crime reflects poorly on Australia. During the two year AFP inquiry the case was reassigned six times. Senior AFP staff recommended that their investigation cease before the trial in the Congo over the Kilwa massacre even commenced.

"The Australian government needs to re-open criminal investigations into the Kilwa massacre in order to reassess the evidence about the parent corporate entity and the activities of all former directors and staff.

"Considering the suffering and the hardship caused by this company our government should work to ensure that the Kilwa victims obtain compensation for their suffering.

"This specific incident involving Anvil Mining underlines the need for the federal government to legislate to ensure Australian companies operating overseas adhere to international legal obligations on human rights and the rights of the child.

"Considering the Abbott government's appalling track record in moderating corporate crimes I am considering introducing a private members bill to achieve these outcomes," Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact - Brami Jegan 0487 350 880