MEPs betray victims of EU companies’ rights abuse
(Brussels, 7 February 2013) Amnesty International has criticised Members of the European Parliament for yesterday failing to prevent European companies from abusing human rights at home and abroad or hold them accountable for violations.
“MEPs have evaded a key opportunity to stand up to the ‘business-driven’ approach to corporate social responsibility that companies and the European Commission support,” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
“Parliament has failed to give teeth to well-intentioned accountability and transparency aspirations for corporate human rights abuse. We need real access to remedy and reparation for the violations people suffer at the hands of companies.”
“MEPs have also ignored the need for robust laws which force companies to disclose information on the threat to human rights, and how they should pursue actual abuses.”
Companies based in European Union countries can currently maintain their operations, and those of their subsidiaries, while ignoring the human rights impact of their activities.
Parliament’s resolution came one week after a landmark ruling by a Dutch court on Shell’s liability for polluting the Niger Delta. The ruling stressed the major obstacles victims face in securing justice. In this case their lives were destroyed by oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
Amnesty International believes the EU and its member states must enact tangible measures to regulate business and control any harmful impact their operations have on human rights, and ensure effective remedy for victims.
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