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Coal miners in Criseluna, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
© Sebastiao Barbosa / United Nations Photo

Civil society against the mining industry in times of COVID-19

Human Rights Centre “Antonio Papisca” of the University of Padua, having signed the collective statement of “Global Solidarity with Communities, Indigenous Peoples and Workers at Risk from Mining Pandemic Profiteers”, which is initiated by MiningWatch Canada against the abuses of the rights of workers of the mining industry. The Human Rights Centre “Antonio Papisca” takes this opportunity to call on others to support this vital campaign for collective wellbeing and justice. 

The collective statement has been signed by more than 300 organisations, which, based on a review of over 500 media relative documents, condemn mining industry for “ignoring the real threats of the pandemic and continuing to operate, using any means available” and the usage of the pandemic “as an opportunity to hide their dirty track records and present themselves as public-minded saviours”.

Moreover, the statement blames governments around the world for profiting on pandemic at the expense of people and planet. According to the statement, governments are condemned for suppression of the protests against the promotion of the mining sector during the pandemic of COVID-19 and accused of “framing mining as essential for global post-COVID-19 economic recovery, and lobbying to expedite administrative decisions and weaken the already-limited measures which exist to address various impacts of their activities”. 

Therefore, the collective statement calls on governments to “respect and support the autonomous organizing and self-determining processes of mining-affected communities and indigenous peoples” and “calls on international human rights bodies to pay close attention” to the current situation in mining industry”.

Full text of the statement is attached below.