It is long overdue to overhaul audit procedures. The Final Statement of the German National Contact Point on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the Rana Plaza proceeding against the auditing company TÜV Rheinland should pave the way to fundamental reforms. In May 2016, ECCHR together with Bangladeshi and German partners filed an OECD complaint against TÜV Rheinland for its its audit report for a factory in the Rana Plaza complex. For two years, the organizations sat around the table with TÜV Rheinland. At the last moment, TÜV Rheinland broke off the negotiations.
On 28 June 2018, cement company Lafarge was indicted in France on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity. This is a worldwide premiere for a parent company to be indicted for such offenses, marking a decisive step forward in the fight against impunity of multinationals operating in armed conflict zones. This follows a criminal complaint filed by eleven Syrian former employees together with ECCHR and Sherpa in November 2016.
"The arrest warrant against Jamil Hassan is a milestone and an important step for all affected by Assad's torture system – for the survivors, for the family members and also for those who are still held in the detention facilities of the Syrian government," says Wolfgang Kaleck, General Secretary of ECCHR. It is an encouraging sign for 24 Syrian torture survivors and activists, whose testimonies contributed to the arrest warrant. Together with ECCHR, they filed four criminal complaints in Germany. Those complaints name, next to Jamil Hassan, other 26 high-level officials of the Syrian intelligence services and the Syrian military.
In summer 2007, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, a non-profit organization, was founded in Berlin – and thus ECCHR was born. The organization started working in January 2008. Our board members, alumni, partners, colleagues and all those who have accompanied us on this journey to date take a look back and reflect on the work of the last 10 years.
In a complaint to the European Commission ECCHR demands the opening of infringement procedures against Italy. The Commission shall examine whether Ali Mamluk's - Director of Syria's National Security Bureau (NSB) - visit to Italy involves a breach of European Union law. Although Mamluk has been designated on the EU sanctions list, he was received by then Interior Minister Minniti at the beginning of 2018. As Director of the NSB is responsible for the torture of thousands of detainees. 14 Syrian and international human rights organisations expressed their support for the complaint.
In October 2016 an airstrike allegedly by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen killed a family of six. At the site of the airstrike bomb remnants were found, and a suspension lug manufactured by RWM Italia S.p.A., a subsidiary of German Rheinmetall AG. To uncover the contributing role of Italian actors in the airstrike, on 17 April 2018 ECCHR filed a criminal complaint in Italy.