SAVE TEGHOUT GROUP SENDS URGENT APPEAL TO U.N.
13:59, July 9, 2012
The Save Teghout Civic Initiative has sent an urgent appeal to the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights, to stop illegal mining in Teghut,
which violates human rights, national legislation of Armenia and
international conventions to which Armenia is a signatory.
The appeal, signed by 27 Armenian and international NGOs and one
international specialist on human rights, has also been forwarded to
8 other responsible U.N. offices.
The conclusions noted in the appeal are:
Mining activity in Teghut has been initiated by ACP and approved by
the Armenian Government with massive infringements of national laws
and international conventions, including violations of human rights
The decision-making on Teghut mining was carried out without ensuring
timely and effective public awareness and participation that ruled out
the possibility for the exercise of people’s right to participate in
decision-making that might impact their lives and the protection of
other rights such as right to live in a healthy and safe environment,
right to property and right to cultural heritage.
Mining activity and mining waste have a high risk of causing serious
damage to the health and lives of human population, as well as
the ecosystem. It will pollute and destroy sources of drinking and
irrigation water, increase possibilities of landslides, destroy large
areas of forest. The project will likely deprive the population of
safe drinking water and food. All mentioned risks will grow because
of high seismic activity of the region.
The local population is being deprived of their permanent agricultural
jobs, and forced taking mining jobs. The latter are short term,
little paid and cause high health risks. In case of large scale
mining in Teghut and large scale water, soil and air pollution,
agricultural use of the area will become impossible for tens of
thousands of years. This may cause dramatic increase in the rates of
poverty and migration of the population in the future.
Historical and cultural heritage is being destroyed, including valuable
historical monuments and artefacts, which will be lost as a consequence
of the mining project in Teghut.
The Teghut case is not unique and most of the hazards described in
this Appeal are valid in case of other mines in the country. Scales
of mining in Armenia are increasing dramatically, and in many cases
this is accompanied by illegalities, major human rights violations
and threats to human life and environment.
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