Report exposes Dynasty Gold's complicity in Uyghur forced labor

Canada ombudsperson report exposes Dynasty Gold’s complicity in Uyghur forced labor

  • Published on
    March 26, 2024
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  • Category:
    Forced Labor, Supply Chain
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The Canada Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) released its first final report this week after a complaint filed in 2022 against Vancouver company Dynasty Gold. Reuters reports that the complaint came from a coalition of 28 human rights groups including the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project and Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. It claimed that the company benefited from the use of Uyghur forced labor at a mine in China in which they held a majority interest.

The resulting report documents evidence of pervasive use of forced labor at the mine and that Dynasty had “contributed to that forced labor through its relationship with its joint venture partners in the mine,” and asks that Ottawa cut off all future trade support for the company.

Checking the links in the chain

As recently as April 2022 Dynasty had reasserted its position in a press release as a majority shareholder in a joint venture with Chinese state-owned Xinjiang Non-Ferrous Metal (XFN). CORE’s finding was based partly on evidence from the international community, including that of then UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet, who following her visit to the region, stated that China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims may amount to crimes against humanity.

Speaking about the report’s findings CORE ombudsperson Sheri Meyerhoffer said in a statement for the Globe and Mail:

“There is clear evidence that Uyghur forced labor was used at the Hatu gold mine, like all Canadian companies operating outside Canada, Dynasty has a responsibility to respect human rights. In this case, Dynasty failed to operate responsibly.”

Documented evidence, an admission by Dynasty’s joint venture partners on participation in forced labor schemes by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and proof of receiving labor through this scheme for the Hatu mine site led to CORE’s conclusions in the report.

A step towards better supply chain transparency

CORE is the watchdog recently created by the federal government to investigate corporate wrongdoing abroad. The Canadian government is also preparing to launch a mandatory reporting system requiring all Canadian companies and government bodies to report publicly on forced labor in their supply chain. This comes on the heels of Bill S-211 which passed in 2023 and entered into force January 1 and aims to “increase industry awareness and transparency and drive businesses to improve practices.”

As stated in the report:

“Dynasty’s disregard for the complaint process and casual response to the complaint itself is disconcerting and falls far short of the CORE’s standard of good faith participation”

CORE further noted that Dynasty didn’t engage with the office until eight months after the federal watchdog began contacting them and “failed to provide any of the documents or information requested.” Chief executive officer for Dynasty, Ivy Chong has so far refused to accept the CORE report findings. Despite that, CORE is urging Canada’s Department of Global Affairs to withdraw any trade advocacy support currently provided to Dynasty and to refuse any future trade advocacy support “until such time as Dynasty has fulfilled the ombud’s recommendations” as listed in the report.

We have the bark, now where’s the bite?

The CORE report has been applauded by Mehmet Tohti, executive director at the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project and Sarah Teich, co-founder and CEO of the Human Rights Action Group as well as other rights groups. Freedom United stands with the Uyghur and human rights advocacy organizations urging Dynasty to comply with the report’s recommendations and calling on the Canadian government to keep the promise made by the recently passed legislation and hold Dynasty accountable.

Reports are only as good as the actions they lead to, and for Uyghurs trapped in forced labor, actions to date are not good enough. If you haven’t already, you can take action to help Uyghurs right now by signing our petition urging the Chinese government to end the persecution and exploitation of Uyghurs and other marginalized groups through the use of forced labor.

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