The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is an independent, not-for-profit research and network organisation
working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable
development. Since 1973, the organisation investigates multinational
corporations and the consequences of their activities for people and the
environment around the world. More...
A new investigative report, which includes field research in South Korea, points out at severe violations of labour rights in the electronics industry, particularly regarding health and safety issues, and freedom of association restrictions.
‘Flawed Fabrics’ – a new report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) – shows that workers are still facing appalling labour conditions that amount to forced labour in the export-oriented Southern Indian textile industry. The women and girls who work in the spinning mills of Tamil Nadu, some as young as 15, are mostly recruited from marginalised Dalit communities in impoverished rural areas. They are forced to work long hours for low wages. They live in very basic company-run hostels and are hardly ever allowed to leave the company compound. The researched spinning mills have Western companies and Bangladesh garment factories among their customers, including C&A, Mothercare, HanesBrands, Sainsbury’s and Primark.
On Saturday 11 October, the European Day of Action, people in 400 European cities protested against the much-discussed free trade agreement between Europe and the US, TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Meanwhile, over 500,000 European citizens have thus far signed petitions against the TTIP.
High food prices and food riots in developing countries in 2008 drew the attention to food commodity price speculation and unregulated derivatives markets. SOMO assessed how new EU laws regulate commodity derivatives markets and their participants from the perspective of EU farmers and the EU agricultural sector in a report just published by the European Parliament. The report concludes that the perspective of EU farmers and the food chain has not been explicitly been taken into consideration and found many opportunities for further improvements.
On September 22-27, in a small beach town near the port of Suape (Pernambuco, Brazil), representatives of various Brazilian NGOs and communities came together to exchange knowledge and information, decide on their strategy and build capacity in the use of grievance mechanisms to defend their human rights. The 5-day event was organised by Fair, Green and Global Alliance partners Both ENDS and SOMO, working together with the Brazilian Fórum Suape.