CLAIHR and Accountability Counsel call for greater fairness, support, protections and clarity for complainants at the Canadian Ombudsperson for Social Enterprise

CLAIHR and Accountability Counsel provided feedback to the operating procedures of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Social Enterprise (CORE).

This office receives and reviews claims of alleged human rights abuses arising from the operations of Canadian companies abroad in the mining, oil and gas, and garment sectors.

CLAIHR has long been concerned by the failure of Canadian officials to regulate Canadian companies operating abroad. Together with Accountability Counsel, CLAIHR called on the CORE to implement greater measures to protect and support those who file requests or complaints to the CORE.

Specifically, CLAIHR and Accountability Counsel call for the following:

  1. Greater fairness for requesters and complainants under the CORE, including adequate notice, a fair hearing, and no appearance of bias;
  2. Greater support for complainants and requesters, to take into account and minimize the power and resource imbalance between parties, namely, the respondent corporations who have much more power and resources than the requesters and complainants; and
  3. Significant improvements to protect requesters and complainants. Requesters and complainants are putting their lives at risk to assist the CORE in identifying bad Canadian corporate actors. They are often vulnerable and may face retaliation for their efforts to hold Canadian companies accountable. They should be guaranteed the protections of human rights and environmental defenders and any other whistleblowers.

Review CLAIHR and Accountability Counsels’ complete submissions here.