Three Eritrean nationals, Gize Yebeyo Araya, Kesete Tekle Fshazion and Mihretab Yemane Tekle, recently filed a suit against the Vancouver based company, Nevsun Resources. The plaintiffs claim that the Canadian company was complicit in the use of forced labour by its local sub-contractor, Segen Construction, an Eritrean state-owned contractor, while they were wirking at the Bisha Mining Share Company.
The three plaintiffs describe awful working conditions such as long hours of work, intimidations and threats of torture if they refused to work, as well as a lack of food, proper shelter and medical care.
The Canadian company has denied all these allegations.
The Guardian stresses that the three plaintiffs "were conscripted into the Eritrean army before being made to work 'unfairly long hours without enough salary, proper medical services, good shelter [or] enough food'."
The NGO Human Rights Watch published a report in 2013 entitled "Hear no Evil" that clearly demonstrated the widespread use of forced labour in the Eritrean mining sector. It also mentioned Nevsun as a company responsible for many violations of human rights abuses, without never being held accountable for these failures.
After the release of the Human Rights Watch's report, the company Nevsun commissioned an independent report to defeat the allegations of slavery and forced labour.
For a complete media coverage of this lawsuit, please go to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre's dedicated page.