Urgent Call to stop Corporate Impunity

27 June 2013
Press release

The impunity of Transnational Corporations for human rights violations globally and the need for Binding Regulation on TNC operations emerged as a core agenda at the Vienna + 20 Civil Society Conference held in Vienna from 25-26 June 2013.

Programmes

Read the conference declaration

This event marked 20 years of the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993, which made crucial contributions to a new global human rights regime, especially the creation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The focus on TNC impunity was strongly highlighted in several panels during the Conference as well as in the IMPUNITY INC. Report launched by ODG and TNI during the Conference.

Introducing the Conference Panel on Binding Regulation, Brid Brennan (TNI) recalled that "in the past 5 years of crises Transnational Corporations (TNCs), particularly Financial corporations have been at the center of the economic crimes of high finance which continue to drive a casino economy rather than the real economy delivering jobs and decent livelihoods".

Speaking on the panel, Monica Vargas, a main author of the IMPUNITY INC. Report, citing case studies from Morocco, Latin America and Africa, exposed how the “architecture of impunity” provided by current Trade and Investment agreements provides privileged protection for the operations of TNCs and makes governments complicit through legislative provisions that put corporate profits before the essential needs and interests of people.

The Conference Declaration concluded with key proposals “urging States to develop and institute binding systems of international regulation…and accountability for violations of rights and effective remedy and justice for all affected peoples…”. In addition a specific call was made “for the establishment of a World Court of Human Rights” as an independent international judicial body where TNCs would be sanctioned when human rights are violated and crimes committed.

The CSO Declaration was formally handed over today at the opening of the governmental “Vienna+20 High Level Conference on Human Rights”, being organized by the Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

 

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