Human Rights Due Diligence Project - Canadian Consultation Summary

Human Rights Due Diligence Project – Canada Consultation

July 6, 2012

The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (“ICAR”) is hosting consultations with local experts in various jurisdictions to gain valuable inputs into the Human Rights Due Diligence Project.  The Human Rights Due Diligence project will formulate legal and policy recommendations to governments to promote due diligence to prevent, remedy and mitigate adverse human rights impacts.

On July 6, 2012, ICAR hosted a Canada Consultation to discuss preliminary research for the project’s survey methodology.  Participants included Catherine Coumans, Research Coordinator and Asia Pacific Program Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada; Aaron Dhir, Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University; Sara Seck, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario; and Penelope Simons, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa.  The Canada Consultation was led by Amol Mehra, ICAR Coordinator, and the Human Rights Due Diligence Project experts, including Anita Ramasastry, Mark Taylor, and Robert Thompson.

Participants discussed examples of mandating or encouraging due diligence activity in the human rights area and other areas akin to human rights.  Participants are researching analogs to human rights due diligence in securities law, environmental law, anti-discrimination law, and export credit agency procedures.  Participants noted existing due diligence requirements related to environmental, health and political risks.  Other examples include federal legislation establishing workplace health and safety duties and corresponding criminal liability for corporations and their representatives, and the inclusion of ethical, social, and environmental factors in the production of company financial statements.

Participants will submit survey responses in August to be incorporated in the presentation of initial findings at ICAR’s Second Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on September 6-7, 2012.  The Human Rights Due Diligence Project report will be released in December 2012.

For more information regarding the Human Rights Due Diligence Project, contact Amol Mehra, ICAR Coordinator, at