Global demand for gold and other metals continues to drive massive growth in mining exploration and extraction, particularly in Latin America and Africa. These operations are commonly linked to grave contamination of water sources, land grabs, human health impacts, and human rights abuses against environmental defenders.
CIEL works to empower local communities affected by the expansion of metals mining, especially in Latin America and Africa, so that their environmental rights may be respected. Frequently, mining projects are financed by international banks, which are required to observe environmental and social standards to avoid negative impacts on communities and the resources they depend on. CIEL monitors these projects through our “Early Warning System” and collaborates with international coalitions to support communities defending their rights and territories from mining. Additionally CIEL provides communities directly impacted by mining projects with legal support and access to regional and international institutions to highlight the pattern of abuses in the sector and address rights violations.
CIEL works to strengthen corporate accountability in the context of mining by advocating for stronger extraterritorial obligations (ETO), so that home States effectively control their extractive industries operating abroad. In partnership with civil society coalitions, CIEL also helps develop legislation in host countries in order to secure the free, prior, and informed consent of local communities with regard to mining and other large-scale development projects.