Friends of the Earth International and other social movements today celebrated a long awaited victory that has set in motion a mechanism to meet the demands of human rights defenders, and challenge corporate power. The time had finally come to move away from voluntary guidelines for businesses on human rights, and towards a legal framework to bring transnational corporations to justice for human rights violations.
Before the end of this week 193 nations meeting at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will decide the fate of a proposal to develop international rules to stop human rights abuses by multinational companies and bring them to justice.
In the wake of major human rights abuses carried out by European companies and the national government in Guatemala, two human rights defenders from the west of the country visited Brussels to share their struggles and campaign for big businesses to prevent human rights abuses, or be held to account for their crimes.
The World Cup kicked off in Brazil this month, amidst protests across the country against the high cost of the stadiums, corruption, police brutality and forced evictions. Friends of the Earth Flanders and Brussels (Climaxi) is marking the World Cup with a public vote for the worst corporate sponsors of the tournament. The World Cup Greenwash award aims to expose greenwashing in the run-up to, and during, the tournament.
The candidates for the World Cup Greenwash award are:
Human rights abuses and the destruction of the planet dominated discussions at a conference on Europe's role in the extraction of resources in Latin America on Sunday.
The event organised by Friends of the Earth Spain/Amigos de la Tierra España in Madrid brought together European and South American experts and activists.
Today in France, activists brought the polluting reality of French bank Société Générale's investments in coal to their doorstep - by dumping 1.8 tonnes of coal outside their headquarters in Bayonne.
Deutsche Bank has told Friends of the Earth Europe and Rettet den Regenwald that it sold its shares in the Indonesian palm oil supplier Bumitama, an important supplier to palm oil giant Wilmar, following months of campaigning by the two groups. Despite numerous promises to clean up its act, Bumitama continues to produce illegal palm oil.
Wilmar International, one of the world's largest palm oil traders, continue their abusive practices of deforestation and land-grabbing, despite promises to stop, according to new research from Friends of the Earth in Indonesia, Liberia, Uganda and Nigeria.
Anne van Schaik, from Friends of the Earth Europe, visits Indonesia to meet with palm oil company Wilmar to highlight the devastating environmental and social impacts of palm oil production.
European and US banks and pension funds must stop financing illegal palm oil and deforestation, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. New findings show that Bumitama Agri, an Indonesian palm oil company and recipient of financial support from numerous European and US financiers, continues to clear land and run an illegal palm oil plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, despite commitments to stop.