Momentum builds during Month of Action to make Canada open for justice
KAIROS has been active during the May Month of Action for Open for Justice, a campaign of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, of which KAIROS is a member. This campaign calls for an independent Ombudsperson and access to Canadian courts for communities, primarily Indigenous, that have suffered human rights and environmental abuses at the hands of Canadian mining companies in the Global South.
During the Month of Action, KAIROS was engaged in several aspects of the Open for Justice campaign following the extensive and engaging visit to Canada by Philippine leaders, including Subanan and Lumad Indigenous people in March and April. They gave compelling, first hand testimony of human rights violations by Canadian mining interests in Mindanao to, among others, Government of Canada officials and Members of Parliament.
In Ottawa, on May 3, KAIROS met with the Minister of International trade as well as the Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to push for an independent Ombudsperson. The process of calling for an independent mechanism with teeth has been ongoing for more than a decade.
Additionally, on May 25, KAIROS submitted a briefing note and made an oral presentation to a civil society meeting in Toronto of the visiting United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights. KAIROS advocated for the independent Ombudsperson and called attention to the gendered impacts of resource extraction that violates the collective and treaty rights of Indigenous peoples as well as the principles of free, prior and informed consent as outlined in the United National Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
It is becoming apparent that one reason Canada does not robustly promote the principles of the Declaration in the Global South is because those principles are not robustly applied in Canada with respect to Indigenous peoples.
Finally, well over 200 letters have been written by KAIROS supporters to the International Trade Minister calling for an independent Ombudsperson.
To lend your voice to this call, send your letter to The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International :
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6