Oil flares in Ecuador

Poor countries that are rich in natural resources have too often seen the well-being of their people and ecosystems deteriorate as a result of destructive, irresponsible resource extraction. This is commonly known as the “resource curse,” whereby foreign investors and local elites extract great wealth from poor countries while leaving behind a legacy of social inequality, political corruption, and ecological damage. KAIROS works with our global partners to play our part in breaking this curse.

One cornerstone of sustainability is the right of communities to exercise free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) over developments that will affect their well-being, their enjoyment of human rights, and the integrity of local ecosystems. KAIROS partners are working to empower poor and marginalized populations in resource-rich countries to participate in decision-making that affects their lives. Our partners in the global South are opening up democratic space in their countries to debate the role of resource extraction in reducing poverty. They are challenging economic policies that promote foreign-owned resource extraction as the only path towards development. In some cases, they are advocating for stronger regulatory regimes to maximize fiscal and economic benefits to the local population, and hold companies responsible for cleaning up their environmental messes. In other cases, they are rejecting resource extraction and embracing alternative economic development paths such as sustainable agriculture and forestry, ecotourism and other activities. This movement to “keep the oil in the soil” and promote food sovereignty is emerging as a popular response to the triple crisis of hunger, poverty and climate change.


Mining oversight bill defeated by government, despite widespread public support


KAIROS Canada is disappointed that the Extractive Sector Ombudsman bill, Bill C-584, did not pass second reading in the House of Commons on October 1. More than 90,000 Canadians voiced their support for such an Ombudsman through the Open for Justice campaign. In spite of this setback, KAIROS is continuing its work with Parliamentarians to build even greater public support for an Ombudsman and to remove legal barriers for those who need access to justice in Canada.

Media Briefing Paper: The world wants Canada to be open for justice

Open For Justice - small

Canadian and international organizations press for law reform to hold Canadian mining companies accountable for human rights abuses overseas. “What happened to Canadian compassion, to the Canada that accepted so many refugees in the 80s?” Nelly Rivera asked a delegation from KAIROS Canada and the United Church of Canada this question after telling them about […]

In Memory of the life of Adolfo Ich Chaman-

A photo in memory of Adolfo Ich, with the caption 'Happy Father's Day', hangs on the wall of his family home in El Estor.

Today, five years later, KAIROS joins the family of Adolfo Ich Chaman- , his community and human rights and solidarity groups in Guatemala and in Canada in commemorating Adolfo Ich’s life and demanding justice. Angelica Choc, Adolfo’s wife, has called on all of us to join them in solidarity: “Let all of us who are fighting in defense of our territories unite to demand that justice be served”.

Urgent Action – Ask MPs to support the Ombudsman bill

Open For Justice Logo - large

This is a crucial moment in the Open for Justice campaign to win greater accountability from the Canadian mining, oil and gas industry. Find out how you can join this urgent action!

A Place Between Cynicism and Idealism by Greg Veltman

Alberta Oilsands.  Photo by Greg Veltman at Justice Camp 2014

As the People’s Climate March on September 21 draws closer, we are mindful of how our use and production of energy effects the earth and all its peoples. Greg Veltman was one of two young adults supported by KAIROS to attend the Anglican Justice Camp in Alberta this summer, and to join the “Faith in the Oil/Tar Sands Developments: Excavating for Deeper Narratives” immersion experience. This is his reflection about the experience.

Development free of fear by Rev. Desmond Jagger-Parsons

Desmond Jagger-Parsons with Connie Sorio and Ed Bianchi of Kairos, and the Mayor of Midsalip, Liwaya A. Paras.

Rev. Desmond Jagger-Parsons, BA LLB MDiv, is the Head of the Philippine Learning Tour, a delegation organized by KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, with representatives from KAIROS member churches, CUPE, MiningWatch Canada and Indigenous people in Canada.  Rev. Jagger-Parsons is also the Chair of the Board of KAIROS and a United Church minister in the […]

Press Statement: The Rock Hard Truth—Philippine Learning Tour raises concerns about mining-related human rights violations in the Zamboanga peninsula

Philippines Learning Tour 2014

At a press conference at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in Pagadian City, Philippines Learning Tour (PLT) members Rev. Desmond Jagger-Parsons, Chair of the KAIROS Board, and Linda Wilson, a member of Idle No More, present a joint statement at the conclusion of the PLT, along with Bishop Antonio Ablon, and Rev. Beltran Pacatang and Subanen Terso Balives from PROTECT, a PLT sponsor.

Northern Gateway decision a turning point in indigenous relations

Gateway Wrong Way

In announcing its approval for the Northern Gateway pipeline, the federal government said that Enbridge “has more work to do to engage with aboriginal groups.” This passing off of responsibility to the pipeline’s sponsor does not release the government from its responsibility to properly consult the First Nations affected.

KAIROS leads Philippines Learning Tour to Mindanao communities impacted by Canadian mining

Tailings pond at a gold mine in the Philippines. Photo: KAIROS

Toronto, ON - KAIROS Canada is organizing a tour to the Philippines to learn more about how Canadian mining operations are impacting communities in that country. Ten representatives from KAIROS, the United Church of Canada, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and CUPE, as well as First Nations communities, will visit four cities from July 30 to August 10.

Support Grassy Narrows


Today’s Supreme Court decision affirming Ontario’s right to log on Grassy Narrows treaty land is a disappointment, but the First Nation’s fight to protect its traditional territory and waters, as well as the right to hunt, fish, and trap, continues.