Human rights violations and environmental impacts committed by Vale in Brazil and eight other countries in America, Africa and Asia are reported in the “Vale Unsustainability Report 2015”. The launching will be on Thursday, April 16th, at 11 am, at the headquarters of the Journalists Union of Rio de Janeiro/Brazil.
Produced by the International Articulation of those Affected by Vale, the report gathers information on over 30 violation cases involving the company’s entire production chain in different countries. The most severe violation cases include episodes of espionage and poor working conditions, including forced labor and other forms of modern slavery, which were recently subject of complaints addressed to the Public Prosecutor Office in Brazil. The publication also points out that Vale has been investing in projects with legal disputes regarding the violation of environmental legislation, such as the fragmentation of the environmental licensing procedure regarding the widening of the Carajás Railroad (states of Pará and Maranhão, in Brazil). In 2012, Vale won the “Public Eye Award”, an international award created to publicly criticize companies and business practices that lead to human and labor rights violations, environmental destruction and corruption
The launching of the Vale Unsustainability Report 2015 happens on the eve of the company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, and in a context marked by the weakening of Vale’s financial risk profile, which was downgraded from “A -” to “BBB +”, according to Standard & Poor’s. For the fifth consecutive year, representatives of the International Articulation of those Affected by Vale will participate in the meeting as critical shareholders. During the meeting they will present to other shareholders their critical remarks on how Vale’s current business strategy affects the territories: pushing to ease the environmental legislation and the environmental licensing procedure, as well as the non-recognition of labor rights and the intensification of conflicts in communities located on the operating sites.
The launching of the Report also happens during the week of the National Indigenous National, and during a period of struggle towards the Agrarian Reform also marked by mobilizations pro-labor rights and against service outsourcing.
Representatives of the International Articulation of those Affected by Vale will attend the launching event, especially dwellers of the communities directly affected by Vale’s mining projects in the states of Maranhão, Pará, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro.
These are some examples of the complaints that will be presented:
Irregular Licensing: The expansion of the production in Carajás (state of Pará) is the greatest Vale investment in the world, and it depends on the widening of the Carajás railroad (EFC), which is being made through an irregular licensing process, without holding the required public hearings and prior consultation to the affected communities.
Forced Labor: In Itabirito (MG), Vale was accused of forcing 309 people into slave-like working conditions.
Water waste: three pipelines that connects the city of Mariana, in Minas Gerais, to Anchieta, in Espírito Santo, spend 4.400m³ of water per hour, which would be enough water supply for a city of 586,000 people during a month.
Forced Evictions: In Mozambique, more than 1,300 families resettled by Vale live today with limited access to water, and energy, on land unsuitable for agriculture, and have not received, to date, the proper compensation to which they are entitled.
Energy production: Vale is a shareholder of the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant project, which has been criticized for causing great social, environmental and economic destruction. At least 20 lawsuits were filed by federal public prosecutors in Pará.
Contamination: In Canada, where Vale produces nickel in Voisey’s Bay mine, Sandy Pond lake was converted into a bowl with over 400 tons of waste, according to complaints from local organizations.
Steelmaking: TKCSA Company, to which Vale is a shareholder, increased by 76% the emissions of carbon dioxide in Rio de Janeiro. Since 2010, the company works without environmental licensing.
Espionage: Through allegations of a former employee of Vale, an entire espionage scheme on social movements like MST and Justiça nos Trilhos was revealed. The case has led to a public hearing in the Brazilian National Congress, but the company was not hold liable to the present date.
Threats to Fishery: In São Luís (MA), Espírito Santo (ES), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Piura (Peru) and Perak (Malaysia), local fishermen report that the shipping of minerals and water contamination in Vale local ports hold a threat to their survival.
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Daniela Fichino (Justiça Global) +55 (21) 98181-9303
Iara Moura (Pacs) +55 (21) 98398-1214
Press Conference: Launching of “2015 Vale Unsustainability Report”
Time: 11 am
Location: Union of Professional Journalists in the city of Rio de Janeiro – Evaristo da Veiga Street, 16 / 17th floor – Downtown, Rio de Janeiro
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