Assessment of Barrick Gold Grievance Mechanism


This Report was prepared by Enodo Rights and concerns an ambitious corporate program to remedy egregious human rights violations. Barrick Gold conceived the Olgeta Meri Remedy Framework (the Framework) in response to devastating accounts of sexual violence committed by private security personnel at the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea. The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were the Framework’s touchstone. Barrick drew on them to design an elaborate operational-level grievance mechanism (OGM) to adjudicate sexual violence claims and determine individual remedies.

The assessment was conducted in 2015 at Barrick’s request to evaluate the Framework publicly and comprehensively against the Guiding Principles, incorporating international law and a particular focus on claimant experience. The research was funded by Barrick. But the process and report were conceived to be independent. Enodo conducted the assessment with the guidance of an External Committee comprised of Chris Albin-Lackey of Human Rights Watch, Lelia Mooney of Partners for Democratic Change, and Dahlia Saibil of Osgoode Hall Law School. With the External Committee’s advice, Enodo determined the assessment’s scope and methodology, including the assessment metrics, documents to review, stakeholders and company personnel to interview, and the length and structure of the onsite research.


The Report is extensive. It includes (i) specific criteria to assess each of the relevant Guiding Principles in practice; (ii) detailed lessons from the ground regarding implementation challenges and complexities; and (iii) recommendations for future OGMs. In short, Enodo concluded:

The Framework was conceived with sincere and considered commitment to the Guiding Principles. Barrick’s design should be lauded for its rare ambition and meticulous attention to claimants’ rights. But implementation errors compromised the Framework’s actual performance. Claimants were thus exposed to a process which failed adequately to protect them and which they did not understand. In the end, successful claimants received remedies that were equitable, even generous, under international law. Nevertheless, many were left disaffected, stigmatized and abused. Responsibility for these results is not the Framework’s alone. It should be shared by international stakeholders whose errors of judgment and unwillingness to engage in good faith exacted a great toll on claimants.