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14 Mar 2014

Bobbie Sta. Maria, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Singapore: Is the haze clearing for extra-territorial accountability?

Singapore’s Transboundary Haze and Pollution Bill that’s presently making the rounds for public consultation is one potentially game-changing initiative in the area of business and human rights in Southeast Asia. The bill contains two elements that up to now have been mere aspirations among those seeking greater accountability for environmental and human rights abuses by business [in the region]: it has extraterritorial reach, and is binding against companies. Prior to the tremendous environmental, health and economic impacts brought about by the forest fire haze that reached Singapore last year, few would probably have thought that a proposal this progressive in nature would come from this country…