Corporations, Communities and the Environment

A growing body of work is documenting how the operations of European companies outside the European Union have been implicated in violations of internationally accepted human rights and environmental standards. In this publication the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) reviews the potential impact of ECCJ's proposed legislative changes through an exploration of three case studies: Trapped in chains - Independent research highlights the working conditions in the factories of a major garment manufacturer for European retailers such as C&A, H&M and Carrefour in India. The powerful and the powerless - Colombian lawyer's organisation CCAJAR reports on claims of lost labour rights and the murder of union members working for Unión Fenosa operations in Colombia'ss Caribbean coast. Failure to communicate - GroundWork reports how local communities near ArcelorMittal's steel plant are suffering environmental damange and displacement in South Africa. The causes of these and other violations are complex, but it is clear that significant gaps in the way multinational operations are governed has exacerbated this irresponsible behaviour. The ECCJ believes that Europe has a unique opportunity to address the governance gaps that have allowed for such behaviour. Through its power to implement legally binding reforms, the European Union (EU) can not only lead the debate internationally, but it is also in the position to take effective steps to enhance compliance with internationally agreed human rights and environmental standards, and to help those impacted by violations of those standards achieve greater access to justice. Within its campaign “Rights for People, Rules for Business” the ECCJ is therefore calling on EU policy makers to ensure laws effecitvely hold companies operating in the EU accountable for any harm they cause to people and the environment. lees meer minder
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