Programme of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, May 2010
Programme and background to Peoples' Tribunal on "Neoliberal Policies and European Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in Latin America and the Caribbean”.
In the context of the Peoples Summits, the Bi-regional network Europe-Latin America and the Caribbean Enlazando Alternativas, has organised two Tribunal Sessions in the framework of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT) on "Neoliberal Policies and European Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in Latin America and the Caribbean”.
These sessions exposed the violations of human rights, labour rights and environmental standards committed by more than 25 multinational companies based in the European Union and their subsidiaries (including Repsol YPF, Unión Fenosa, Suez, Unilever, Ence, Botnia, Shell and European banks such as BBVA and ABN-AMRO) in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the first Tribunal in Vienna (2006), there were several cases against TNCs operating in the service sectors, infrastructure, energy, agro-food chain, finance and telecommunications, among others. The bi-regional process of documenting TNCs violations continued with a second Session held in Lima (2008), in which 21 cases were filed against TNCs involving 10 EU member states.
The PPT Session in Madrid, while bringing this work to a culmination will also open a new phase of work. It will be a moment to give visibility to the process and experiences accumulated in Vienna and Lima and other instances of PPT Hearings.
This session of the Tribunal will focus not only on the TNCs but also on the European institutions, policies and actors who are complicit in creating an architecture of impunity for the operations of TNCs. In addition, the Tribunal will hear denunciations against the impunity of European TNCs and the impacts of their operations on the Rights of Peoples. The Tribunal will also initiate the debate on TNCs human rights violations in terms of "crimes against humanity."
The evidence gathered, the experience of campaigns and cumulative conceptual advances during the process of the various Tribunals organized between May 2006 and May 2010, will be the basis to move forward towards new articulations and strategies that seek to dismantle the power of transnational corporations. In this way the protection of people and the planet will be affirmed and moved towards practices of “living well” with a vision of collective well-being and global co-existence.