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4 Jan 2016

Natsumi Koike, Transnational Institute

Union of People Affected by Texaco calls for binding treaty on business & human rights to hold companies accountable

"UDAPT [Union of People Affected by Texaco] calls for a "Global Minga" to campaign for an international treaty to hold corporate criminals accountable", 23 Dec 2015

...[R]epresentatives 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..."Minga is an indigenous expression that means all the people of the community work collectively for a common goal...[I]f people around the world work together, we can build a better international justice system..."... [I]t is very difficult to hold transnational corporations accountable for their crimes with the existing human rights law. First, transnational corporations have accumulated unprecedented power in which States are often complicit. International economic treaties, including Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), often contribute to reinforce such power of corporations. Furthermore, corporations benefit from their "transnational" character, using subsidiaries to avoid the parent company's liabilities for their operations or they simply exiting from a country so that the government cannot touch them. There is currently no binding international instrument that can hold corporations accountable. Existing International and regional human rights treaties bind only States or individuals and not corporations. In addition, existing "guidelines" or "principles" for corporations remain non-binding instruments and their implementation is largely dependent on the good will of the corporation...[Also refers to Chevron & Texaco/Chevron lawsuits (re Ecuador). Previous response from Chevron to allegations available here.]