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Business and human rights

Business and human rights


In our globalized economy, transnational corporations and governments work to dismantle barriers to trade so that commodities, data and money can flow more or less unfettered around the world. This system profits and promotes the interests of businesses in the Global North and elites in developing or newly industrialized countries. At the other end of the supply chain, however, millions of people in the Global South do not fare so well. Inherently unjust power imbalances in the globalized economic system result in recurring human rights violations. Many human rights abuses are attributable to transnational companies or their overseas subsidiaries and suppliers. ECCHR aims to use legal interventions to help break down unjust economic, social, political and legal power relations around the world. We are, however, aware of the obstacles facing victims when they take on foreign corporations to enforce their rights. But going to court is not the only option. In some cases, lodging complaints with UN bodies or other international or national institutions can be more useful than lawsuits or criminal complaints – crucial are the political, economic and social circumstances.
Business and human rights

Exploitation & Global Supply Chains

Companies from the Global North exacerbate working conditions through their pricing and deadline demands. ECCHR uses a range of legal tools to ensure that transnational contractors, buyers and retailers are held responsible for the exploitation of workers.
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Business and human rights

Business, War & Dictatorships

Corporate actors can facilitate the persecution of government critics, fan the flames of war and, in some cases, even aid and abet war crimes. The role of corporate executives and managers in dictatorships and wars can and must be subject to prosecution.
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Business and human rights

Social Rights & Natural Resources

In global competition for resources, transnational companies often assert their interests with reckless disregard. ECCHR sees itself as part of a broader civil society movement challenging such corporate abuses and undertakes legal action in support of these political and legal fights.
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  • Argentina - Military dictatorship - Ledesma
  • Argentina - Military dictatorship - Mercedes Benz
  • Argentina - Military dictatorship - Minera Aguilar
  • Argentina - Social security - Pensions
  • Bangladesh - Textile industry - Lidl
  • Bangladesh - Textile industry - Rana Plaza
  • Brazil - Dam failure - TÜV SÜD
  • Brazil - Military dictatorship - Volkswagen
  • Colombia - Trade unionists - Nestlé
  • Democratic Republic Congo - Police violence - Danzer
  • Europe - Supply chains - Human rights due diligence
  • India - Pesticides - Bayer
  • India - Pesticides - FAO/WHO
  • India - Pesticides - Syngenta I
  • India - Pesticides - Syngenta II
  • India - Pharmaceutical industry - Clinical trials
  • Mexico - Arms exports - Heckler & Koch
  • Mexico - Wind parks - EDF
  • Nigeria - Torture - Shell
  • Pakistan - Textile industry - KiK
  • Pakistan - Textile industry - RINA
  • Paraguay - Investments - KfW
  • Peru - Mining - Glencore
  • Qatar - Labor exploitation - Corporate responsibility
  • Romania - Resource exploitation - Gold mining
  • South Africa - Apartheid - German corporations
  • Sudan - Infrastructure - Lahmeyer
  • Syria - Armed conflict - Lafarge
  • Syria - Surveillance technology - Corporate responsibility
  • Turkey - Surveillance - FinSpy
  • United Kingdom - Surveillance - Gamma/FinFisher
  • Uzbekistan - Textile industry - Forced labor
  • Western Sahara - Exploitation - Natural resources
  • Yemen - Arms exports - Europe
  • Yemen - War crimes - RWM Italia
  • Zimbabwe - Indigenous rights - Land rights