Divisions remain in PNG over Barrick compensation

A group photo of Porgera community women and men who say they were raped or violently abused at the gold mine owned by Barrick Gold Corporation. Photo: Supplied

A group photo of Porgera community women and men who say they were raped or violently abused at the gold mine owned by Barrick Gold Corporation.

Radio New Zealand

There are lingering tensions among victims of rape by employers of Canadian miner Barrick Gold at its Porgera Joint Venture in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province.

This follows the conclusion of Barrick’s remedy programme under which it provided compensation to rape victims.

The compensation relates to brutal sexual violence, including gang rape and imprisonment, by security staff at the Porgera mine.

Some 120 women received “remedy packages” but had to sign legal waivers that they would not sue Barrick in civil court.

However, eleven other victims rejected the settlement and with representation by EarthRights International, negotiated a separate settlement from Barrick, far higher than what the remedy programme women got.

Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada says that Barrick subsequently topped up the 120 women with additional funding, but their compensation is still only about a quarter of what the eleven women got.

She says while the disparities have caused divisions, Barrick has trumpeted the success of its remedy programme.

“As soon as Barrick had provided this remedy to these 120 women and got them all to sign the legal waivers, Barrick came out with a big publication. They presented the publication at the United Nations, this UN forum on business and human rights, and they said you know this has all gone very, very well and that this was a fair and equitable remedy. But clearly it wasn’t fair and equitable because women who were represented by proper independent legal representation received a higher remedy.”

 

1 Comment

Filed under Human rights, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Divisions remain in PNG over Barrick compensation

  1. It is right, fair and just that Barrick is paying the compensation to the rape victims but is Barrick surely guaranteed that payment is made to the right victims of the rape. If barrick is not sure of it then the payment is made to the wrong people because it is possible that all PNG women roaming around the streets could take advantage to be the victims. That is how Barrick failed and money is paid to the wrong people.
    I suggest that if could barrick help those Porgeran Women who were the real victims of rape in investing this money to set up their own business so that when mine closes, it can help them from any financial challenge???

    thank you

    Lawrence Kalo
    Porgera SML

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