New Online Complaint System seeks to Hold Canadian Businesses Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

  • April 28, 2021
  • Khalid Mahdi
  • Comments Off on New Online Complaint System seeks to Hold Canadian Businesses Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

In March 2021, the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) launched an online form (link) that would allow foreign individuals, organizations and communities to file complaints of possible human rights violations arising from the operations of Canadian companies operating abroad. The complaints system would specifically target the activities of Canadian companies in the mining, garment, and oil and gas sectors.

The office of the Ombudsperson, which reports directly to the Federal Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, was established in 2019. Its mandate is focused on holding Canadian companies accountable for actions in operations abroad, and to help ensure that they are engaging in responsible business conduct.

This online complaint-intake system is part of CORE’s global mandate to protect human rights, as recognized under international law. While the online system requires internet access, CORE has previously expressed its willingness to accept complaints through email, voicemail, or regular mail. Any complaint launched, however, should be either ongoing or based on facts arising after May 2019.

CORE will not be acting for the complainants or the companies, but will represent the public interest in safeguarding human rights. It will seek to resolve human rights disputes through alternative dispute resolution and will report its findings to the public. You can learn more about CORE’s process in dealing with complaints here (link).

You can read more about the new initiative in a recent article by Canadian Lawyer Magazine (link).

The launch of the online form is significant in so far as it provides a forum for those who have suffered human rights abuses because of the conduct of Canadian companies. Bakerlaw strives to provide clients with access to justice and legal support. You can learn more about our approach here (link). You can also learn more about the legal services we offer here (link).

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