Forced to leave their homes to flee violence, war or poverty and invisible because they are vulnerable, large numbers of migrants disappear while travelling. This analysis of border control looks at the power and impunity of transnational corporations, militarisation, the externalisation of borders, Israel’s role as a laboratory for the wall industry and the criminalisation of international solidarity, among other issues.
In a recent Public Forum held in Amsterdam, representatives of the Union of People Affected by Texaco (UDAPT) from Ecuador began their Europe speaking tour with a call for a “Global Minga” to support a treaty that will sanction transnational corporations for their crimes and ensure access to justice for affected communities.
Social Movements from all over the world came to Geneva (6-10 July) to support a binding treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises to respect Human Rights discussed for the 1st time in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Civil society organisations are writing to express deep concerns about the lack of transparency around the ongoing trade talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). They call on The European Commission to open the negotiation process to the public, by releasing the negotiating mandate, documents submitted by the EU, and negotiating texts.
European transnational corporations are praised as "engines" of Europe's growth economy, however extensive research on the activities of 25 flagship companies have revealed evidence of labour abuses, deforestation, corruption, and attacks on human rights defenders.
Maxime Combes of Attac France interviews Gonzalo Berron and Brid Brennan on the eve of the debate at the 26th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the need for a new legal framework to end corporate impunity.
On June 26, 2014, under the leadership of Ecuador and South Africa, the UN Human Rights Council passed landmark resolution 26/9,2 establishing an open-ended inter - governmental working group (IGWG)3 that is mandated to elaborate an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (hereinafter, the Treaty). It was a tight vote: the resolution was supported by 20 states, mainly from Africa and Asia, and opposed by 14, including the United States and the European Union, with 13 abstentions. The resolution strikes a nerve — and there is much expectation around it.
The controversial legal case that Canadian mining firm Pacific Rim has launched against El Salvador has added fuel to the growing international debate on the balance of corporate rights and responsibilities and the need for new legal international frameworks to address corporate impunity.
Despite the track record of systemic and systematic violations of the range of human rights, the efforts to establish legally binding obligations and an instrument of enforcement within the UN system have been defeated by determined corporate opposition. The current Guiding Principles developed by the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, John Ruggie, do not create "any new international legal obligations" and are therefore non-binding.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
Why has the UN allowed 13 corporate partners, many deeply responsible for climate change, to sponsor and influence climate talks in Warsaw? An infographic from a series that illustrates TNI/CEO's COP19 guide to corporate lobbying.
Signing international investment treaties, in the hope of attracting foreign investments, has been a central strategy for governments looking to improve economic development. The less known side of this story is that by signing investment treaties, governments are giving away the sovereign right to regulate in the interest of people and the environment. They also expose themselves to the risk of spending millions in law suits that could have been used to serve public needs. It’s time that the dark side of investment is put under the spotlight.
The Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT) in 2008 examined 21 cases of abuses by transnational companies from 12 sectors operating in Latin American countries and looked at the impact of EU free trade agreements for perpetuating and expanding these corporate crimes.
The Davos class run our major institutions, know exactly what they want, and are well organized, but they have weaknesses too. For they are wedded to an ideology that isn't working and they have virtually no ideas nor imagination to resolve this.