Human Rights Watch says miners’ safety is ‘at serious risk’ in Georgia

The 60-page research says that that the risk is caused by ‘insufficient government regulation and resulting mining practices. Photo: Georgian Journal., 22 Aug 2019 - 18:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

'The safety of workers in Georgia’s mines is at serious risk,’ reads the beginning of the first paragraph of the Human Rights Watch research ‘No Year without Deaths’: A Decade of Deregulation Puts Georgian Miners at Risk.’

The 60-page research that has been published today, says that the risk is caused by ‘insufficient government regulation and resulting mining practices that prioritise production quotas and put workers’ safety in jeopardy.

Human Rights Watch reports that the research ‘documents how weak labour protections and limited government oversight have allowed mining practices that undermine safety to flourish.’

The research says that the Georgian Manganese company, the largest manganese producer operates 11 mines as well as a processing plant and has about 3,500 workers.

Human Rights Watch enquired the workers at GM mines who said that ‘because they work 12-hour shifts underground, including at night, for 15 straight days, they are often exhausted, and they have faced penalties for failure to make quotas.’

The research also reads that the coal miners for Saknakhshiri LLC also said the working conditions heighten risks to safety and labour rights.