The federal government agency charged with ensuring Canadian companies operate ethically abroad is ineffective and this country lags far behind other nations in preventing abuses, according to a new report from three human rights and corporate accountability organizations.
Above Ground, OECD Watch, and Mining Watch slammed the performance of Canada’s “National Contact Point” today in a report titled “Canada is Back, But Still Far Behind.”
The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises include ethical standards to protect workers’ rights and the environment and curb corruption. All participating governments, including Canada’s, are required to establish National Contact Points (NCP) to promote the guidelines, investigate complaints and ensure compliance.
But Canada’s NCP, a multi-departmental committee led by Global Affairs Canada, is failing in its role, the watchdog groups say in the report, which reviews the handling of five complaints against Canadian companies’ foreign activities. The complaints examined were directed at Canadian companies operating in China, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia and Zambia.
The guidelines from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which includes 35 countries, are not binding and the report says they aren’t working.
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