Mining and Human Rights Violation

Alice McCombs (amccombs@MAIL.WISCNET.NET)
Sat, 9 Dec 1995 02:21:04 -0600

Mining is almost synonymous with human rights violations

People who opppose unsafe mining know multinational mining corporations
violate the human rights of of people around the world.

But specifically which rights? Which corporations? Which projects? When?

December 10, 1995 is Human Rights Day, the 47th anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To honor the memories of those who
have suffered and died because of unsafe mining and to help ensure a future
for the world's children, mining-exchange is:

1. Collecting a list of violations of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, clause by clause, that mining corporations past, present, and
planned have committed.

2. Composing a letter suggesting the addition of an article to the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights that makes environmental security for
every human being a human right.

If you would like to contribute, send a list of human rights violations by
mining companies identified by the article of the Declaration to or the FAX/address at end of this email. Please
include documentation or citations of documentation with your list.

Example of a violation:

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of person.

Violation: Because Crass Mining Company makes up 80% of Sad Country's
economy, the company has great influence on the military in Sad City. For
the past xx years, the military has tortured or killed anyone who protests
the daily dumps of toxic waste by Crass Mining Company.

Citation: "Unscrupulous Mining Practices." Environmental Activism. Vol.
now, No. infinite. Any Date. Anywhere, Earth: Honest Publishing Co, every

If people want to send in their versions of an environmental security
article patterned on the other Declaration's articles, that would be great.


Article 31

All human beings have the right to clean air, clean water, and unpolluted soil.

Mining-exchange will collect your responses and publish them, one year from
today, on December 10, 1996.

Included below for your convenience is the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. Read it, copy it, share it, put it up on a wall somewhere. It's an
amazing document.


Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Published by the United Nations, 1948-12-10


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and
inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of
freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in
barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the
advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and
belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest
aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse,
as a last resort, to rebellion againist tyranny and oppression, that human
rights should be potected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations
between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed
their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the
human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined
to pomote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation
with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and
observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the
greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard
of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every
individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly
in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for
these rights and freedoms and by pogressive measures, national and
international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and
observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among
the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freeedoms set forth in thhis
Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,
birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political,
jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which
a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or
under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade
shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to
equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against
any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any
incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national
tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the
constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair, and public, hearing by an
independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and
obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed
innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he
has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act
or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or
international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier
penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal
offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy,
family, home or correspondence, not to attacks upon his honour and
reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against
such interference or attacks.

Article 13

1. Everyone has the right ot freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each State.

2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to
return to his country.

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum
from persecution.

2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely
arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and
principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the
right to change his nationality.

Article 16

1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race,
nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.
They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage, and at
its dissolution.

2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of
the intending spouses.

3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is
entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association
with others.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this
right includes the freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom,
either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to
manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of

Article 20

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
directly or through freely chosen representatives.

2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of
government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections
which shall be by universal and equal sufferage and shall be held by secret
vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is
entitled to realization, through national effort and international
cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each
State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his
dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just
and favourable conditions of work and protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for
equal work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration
ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity,
and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the
protection of his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation
of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to
security on the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old
age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same
social protection.

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least
in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be
compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally
available an higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the
basis of merit.

2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human
personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups and shall further
the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be
given to their children.

Article 27

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the
community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material
interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of
which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the
rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full
development of his personality is possible.

2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject
only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of
securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others
and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the
general welfare in a democratic society.

3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the
purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State,
group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act
aimed at the destuction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


Text from the United Nations Server,

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When EarthWINS, Everybody Wins!

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For Mother Earth. . . I
For Humanity. . . / | \
Alice McCombs W ----o---- N
P.O. Box 573 |
Shawano, WI 54166 \ | /
FX: 715-524-9958