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When big business and human rights collide

Author: Ka Hsaw Wa, EarthRights International in Los Angeles Times, Published on: 26 February 2012

Among the thousands of interviews I've conducted as a human rights investigator…, one of the most difficult was in 1996, outside a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border…I had gone to the camp to investigate reports that villages were being uprooted and brutalized to make way for a natural gas pipeline built by…Unocal and other multinational corporations. There, I met a young mother from my Karen ethnic group whose baby had recently been killed by Burmese troops providing security for the pipeline. That was Jane Doe, as she would later be known. She would go on to help establish the legal principle that U.S. corporations can be held liable for complicity in severe human rights abuses abroad. Now, a case being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court…may mean that future Jane Does will have no such recourse against corporations.

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Related companies: Chevron Unocal (part of Chevron)