Global Policy Forum

Investment and impunity in an era of crisis - What alternatives?

CO_powerThe International Call is out for a new regulatory regime that will end the impunity of Transnational Corporations (TNCs). This includes the demand for a World Court that will judge and sanction economic, political and ecological corporate crimes and ensure justice for affected communities and sectors.

12 September, 2013 | Brid Brennan, Transnational Institute

Challenging corporate power

This Round Table in the European Parliament on the theme:  “Challenging corporate power-Investment and impunity in an era of crisis - What alternatives? Towards An International Peoples’ Treaty” will hear the proposal to build a People’s International Treaty as an important strategy towards ending corporate impunity.

The Round Table brings to Brussels a new convergence of voices - from affected communities and sectors, social movements, campaign networks, Parliamentarians and experts.  - to debate and propose alternatives to the current regime of widespread corporate violations of human and labour rights, landgrabbing, the devastation of livelihoods and nature as well as the threat to democracy.

The statistics accumulate and the reports multiply on the track record of TNC operations which lead to massive violations of people’s rights and sovereignty globally. The massacre of 34 striking miners at the Lonmin Marakana Platinum mine in South Africa just a year ago or the more recent death of 1,132  textile workers, mostly women, in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh are not isolated incidents.

Many well documented Reports and Fact finding Missions to different regions and cities of the world - from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil, Philippines and Indonesia, Nigeria, Mozambique - all expose how the fundamental rights of communities, indigenous peoples, workers and farmers are violated by transnational corporations.on a systematic and ongoing basis. This is facilitated and protected by an “architecture of impunity” built on Free Trade & Investment Agreements, and other neoliberal de-regulatory and privatisation instruments and policies, including the investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanism (ICSID) where Corporations sue governments for billions of euros.

It is also increasingly clear that the voluntary codes of conduct advocated in the UN's Corporate Social Responsibility Guiding Principles put forward by transnational corporations are not tackling accountability for human rights violations. The EU's current approach of promoting social and environmental reporting by transnational corporations is also inadequate and needs to be replaced with binding, legally enforceable corporate accountability rules.

The Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and End Impunity of TNCs brings together affected communities, social movements and campaigns from all regions of the world to build an alternative paradigm that asserts the public interest in the face of corporate greed and addresses the asymmetry of power relations peoples, governments and corporations. The International People’s Treaty aims to be a crucial instrument and process that highlights the role of citizens as protagonists in building these alternatives reclaiming sovereignty over the commons, over natural resources, territories and public services and strengthening the struggle for food sovereignty, and for ecological and environmental justice.

Find the original aritcle here.

Find a special edition of ALAI’s “Latin America in Movement” magazine on how transnational capital functions here. Learn about the sectors it operates in, the globalised logic it follows, the structure of its promiscuous relations with public authorities at all levels, the magnitude of its abuses and its social, economic and environmental irresponsibility.


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