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New Briefing Highlights Human Rights Lawsuits Against Companies Over Alleged Abuses in Over 25 Countries

Submitted by: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Categories: Human Rights, Environment

Posted: Jun 20, 2012 – 03:00 AM EST


LONDON, Jun. 20 /CSRwire/ - Today the non-profit Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is launching its first annual briefing on Corporate Legal Accountability.

Download the 13-page briefing here

This briefing draws attention to the latest developments in lawsuits brought by victims against companies in Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, France, Nigeria, South Africa, UK, USA and other countries.  The lawsuits include:

  • lawsuits against CACI and L-3 over alleged involvement in torture at Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq;
  • lawsuits against AngloGold Ashanti and other gold firms by miners suffering from silicosis;
  • lawsuit against Amesys for involvement in surveillance by the Gaddafi government in Libya that allegedly led to the arrest and torture of opponents of Gaddafi’s rule; and
  • lawsuit against Chevron over oil pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon that contaminated local tribes’ water and allegedly caused illness.

Chris Avery, Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, said:

“We are pleased to be launching this briefing – the first of its kind.  Human rights lawyers tell us how useful it is to see how cases from other countries are argued.  Businesspeople tell us how important it is to understand these lawsuits and to be aware of human rights risks.”

Sif Thorgeirsson, manager of the Resource Centre’s Corporate Legal Accountability Project, said:

“This briefing allows us to take a step back and look at the big picture – to flag key developments, trends and issues, including gaps in access to remedies for victims.  Governments are under pressure to address these gaps – the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 2011, call on states to take steps to ensure effective judicial mechanisms for victims of corporate abuses.”

More in-depth information on the subject is available on Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s Corporate Legal Accountability Portal – an online hub providing accessible, up-to-date case profiles on over 70 lawsuits in all parts of the world.  The portal also contains commentaries by experts offering insights from a wide range of perspectives.  It is a resource for lawyers and non-lawyers – for victims, advocates, NGOs, business people and others. 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre tracks the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of 5100 companies in over 180 countries.  It is updated hourly and provides guidance tools to assist all those working in this field.  Mary Robinson chairs its 70-member International Advisory Network.  Its 23 Academic Partners include leading institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.

The Centre’s researchers are based in Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, South Africa, UK, Ukraine and USA.

In addition to the Corporate Legal Accountability Portal, the Resource Centre’s site features portals on:

For further details, see the “About us” section of our website.

SUPPORT THE RESOURCE CENTRE: Please consider donating to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, to enable us to continue our work on corporate legal accountability, and to offer our website, special portals, Weekly Updates and briefings to a global audience without any charge.  As we do not accept donations from companies or company foundations, in order to prevent any possible conflict of interest, donations from individuals and foundations are essential for our work to continue.

Donate online:

For more information, please contact:

Sif Thorgeirsson Manager, Corporate Legal Accountability Project
Phone: +1 202 957 6024
Twitter: @bhrrc
Greg Regaignon Research Director
Phone: +33 602151919
Twitter: @bhrrc


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