e - Voice Of Human Rights Watch - e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity & freedom
Editor: Nagaraj.M.R....vol.5 . issue.05......31/01/2009
Editorial: SATYAM CO FRAUD , SINGUR AGITATION & GRAZIONO CEO MASS MURDER
- An eye opener to irresponsible corporate
The recent public agitation at singur west
Now , take the case of Graziono CEO mass murder in noida , it is nothing but fallout of hire & fire policies. Every human being works for survival , on his meager salary there will be family dependents , all of a sudden if a person is fired from service , his whole family will be on streets. O.k , all corporates nowadays preach & breath the mantra of USA , for everything be it infrastructure , flexible labour policies , it compares itself with those prevailing in the USA. Now , the corporate India is getting infrastructure at dirt free prices ( very high in the USA ) , has got hire & fire mechanism by employing contract labour , very lenient environmental norms , very lenient food & drugs safety rules , relaxation in Factory Act , ESI & PF acts , etc add to it the rampant corruption in all govt departments by which you can get any certificate for a price.
The lesson here for the government of
The lesson for corporate
Final word , when it comes to the question of survival , life , livelihood , it know no bounds . After all STRUGGLE FOR SUVIVAL is a basic animal instinct , it is a basic human right of every individual . JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM.
CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY IN INDIA
CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY Scandals related to the appalling practices of multinational corporations like Union Carbide (now DOW), Enron, Coke, Cadbury, and
others may have shocked the nation and the world in the recent past, but the media rarely highlights corporate crimes that extend to murders, destroying habitats, threatening indigenous cultures, causing disease, contaminating the planet's food supply, poisoning
our groundwater and even destroying the very air we breathe.
You think this is an exaggeration? Well consider this. In Bhopal, India more than 8,000 people died in the first three days after 40 tonnes of lethal gas spilled out from Union Carbide's pesticide factory in December 1984. People woke in their homes to fits of coughing, their lungs filling with fluid. 520,000 people were exposed to poisonous gases. 150,000 victims are chronically ill, and even now one person dies every two days. Union Carbide merged with Dow Chemical Corporation two years ago and has ceased to exist as an entity while the present owners Dow refuse to accept any pending liabilities in Bhopal including clean-up of the abandoned site.
Monsanto, one of the world's largest pesticide companies, continues to sell its genetically engineered seeds to farmers around the world despite growing evidence of failure of crops like Bt cotton, that has reduced once well-to-do farmers in the developing world to penury and poverty while the threat of contamination of indigenous species by GE
seeds increases everyday.
Bayer AG, a German transnational continues to manufacture and sell phased out pesticides like Methyl Parathion (brand name Folidol/Metacid) in
Ship-owning companies (and indeed, their countries) like Bergesen (Norway), and Chandris (Greece) meanwhile, regularly violate international and national laws and dump their hazardous wastes at ship-breaking yards in India, Pakistan, China, Turkey and Bangladesh. The voluntary guidelines issued by International Marine Organisation
are not enough and it is imperative that these guidelines are made mandatory to make the ship-owners liable and responsible.
In the era of globalization, multinational companies increasingly move around assets, products and wastes on a global chessboard to maximize their profits and minimize their costs. These companies are using differences and loopholes in national environmental and health laws for example to export pesticides and destructive technologies to
poorer countries to the detriment of local communities. What international body oversees them, or sets rules for their behaviour, or holds them accountable when they transgress?
It is no longer just the conspiracy theorists who believe our world is increasingly ruled and ruined by large multinational corporations. The World Trade Organisation has supplanted environmental treaties and regulations. Corporations have become accountable only under the rules of a free market, free trade and a free for all on human rights and the environment.
The state of our environment has not improved, in fact it has deteriorated. The gap between the world's rich and poor has widened. Instead of providing developing countries with the tools for sustainable development, corporations have pushed their dirty
technologies and polluting industries on to some of the world's poorest countries.
A recent UN report revealed that Exxon, with $63 billion, is worth more than
In the past ten years, corporations have not only resisted
environmental challenges, they have lobbied to water down
international treaties and even succeeded in getting countries to
pull out of environmental agreements altogether. They have maintained
their unsustainable practices in all sectors. It is apparent that
more than just voluntary measures are needed to control these
A recent report by WWF states that if we continue at current levels
of consumption we will use up all of the Earth's resources within 50
years, and we will need two more planets to meet our resource needs.
We either take urgent action to save the planet, or we get off.
The UN Environmental Programme agrees that "the state of the planet
is getting worse." They say "there is a growing gap between the
efforts of business and industry to reduce their impact on the
environment and the worsening state of the planet."
At the root of our environmental problems are the unsustainable
practices of the corporations that shape our economies. But what is
the good of a short-term healthy economy if we can't drink the water,
eat the foods in the fields or breathe the air?
Current systems of governance in
be deficient against the activities of abusive multinational
corporations. To roll back the excessive powers of corporations and
to pressure governments to check corporate abuse and prosecute
corporate crimes, greater public participation is a must. The Rainbow
Warrior's Corporate Accountability Tour of
movement to change the climate of opinion against abusive
corporations and to turn the tide in favour of fundamental human
Corporations need to be held accountable for their actions that are
destroying the planet, destroying people's lives around the globe.
There is only one answer. We must stand up to the corporations. Our
governments must agree on international, legally binding rules for
corporate responsibility, accountability and liability: a set of
rules that business must follow, and governments must enforce.
The list of rules is long, but so are the crimes.
The world needs corporations to be held accountable to the following
laws – no matter where they operate in the world. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
is calling upon the Indian Government to endorse the Bhopal
Principles on Corporate Responsibility, which call on Multinational
• Accept liability for environmental damage and compensate victims of
• Accept liability for the damage, no matter when it happens, what
the cause or who in the corporation is responsible;
• Accept responsibility for damage and injury beyond national borders
including accidents in the oceans and atmosphere;
• Ensure that they do not infringe upon basic human rights;
• Disclose all information regarding releases into the environment to
• Protect human and social rights including the highest standards for
rights to health care and a clean environment;
• Avoid influence over governments, combat bribery and practice
• Allow states to maintain their sovereignty over their own food
• Implement a precautionary principle and take preventative action
before environmental damages or health effects are incurred; and
• Promote and practice clean and sustainable development
Years back ,
started to pinch us. W.T.O's objective of establishing a free
market is good. The market won't be free if one continues with subsidies ,
patronisation & asks others to stop the same. Hypothetically, if the
became truly free, the advanced countries like U.S.A,
COUNTRIES will only benefit due to their higher technical prowess,
& natural wealth. The people living in poorer countries with deficient
prowess, productivity & natural wealth will suffer. In such an
traders & governments of advanced countries will takeover & control
economic systems of the poor countries. In turn looting the resources
countries. the running race between ace athlete ben johnson & a
cripple is not
fair. If at all the race is to be conducted , it should be between ben
the cripple mounted on a cycle, to bring parity & fairness.
Until the poorer countries achieve technical excellence , the advanced
must transfer the technical know-how to them at affordable costs. The
countries must offer the patented medicines & food products to poorer
at affordable costs. The advanced countries must provide financial
poor countries orelse the poorer countries must be permitted to levy
imports , to improve it's domestic industry & infrastructure. By these
only, a truly free , non-partisan global market is possible.
The people living in advanced countries like U.S.A are causing more
the environment , through their luxurious , wayward lifestyles . a single
american uses more fossil fuel, cuts more trees, releases more CFCs,
water than 1000 indians put together. The man who throws rubbish, is
clean it. All G-8 countries must give major contribution towards global
environment clean-up excercise.
The mechanism to resolve trade disputes, consumer disputes between
organisations & individuals must be instituted & must be fair ,
Now, the time has come for poor countries to come together. The
of G-8 countries are saturated. To drive their huge growth engines
need the markets of developing & poor countries. Now, all countries
G-8 must come together , play our cards well. However the G-8
breaking this unity by inducing civil wars, terrorism in our
countries. They are
also breaking the unity by dangling economic loli pops, sops , etc. We
careful about this. Entering W.T.O is right, but it must be on terms
to our society never on terms of others.
WHY MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES ARE INVESTING IN
We condemn the brutal massacre by police on farmers – who are going to loss all their lands , sources.of livelihood for the sake of special economic zones , industrial parks , etc in various states of
In every mega projects undertaken by government , both the state government & central government have functioned like REAL ESTATE / COMMISSION AGENTS for the rich & mighty . the government says it is acquiring lands for development of industries , for public good. In reality there is only good of rich & mighty.
For forming S.E.Zs , corporates gets speedy single window approvals from government , lands at concessional rates – lower than market value , soft loans from Indian banks , tax exemptions for years from the government , dedicated power supply , etc , from the government . these corporates are even given free hand to raise share capital in the Indian market. the government has enacted flexible labour laws specifically for S.E.Zs , they can hire & fire without bothering to pay gratuity , etc and they are exempted from providing P.F / E.S.I coverage to their employees ie they need not worry about the occupational health hazards of their employees , they can employ them till they are fit & throw them on streets afterwards. These corporates take our own money, employ our own people , use our own natural resources & finally take away the net profits to their home countries – what they give back ? – environmental pollution , tax evasions , low paid occupational hazardous jobs to locals , stock market scams .
During Previous License Regime foreign, investment was not directly welcome in
environment thrived, who were no way better than day light robberers, of course with a few exception. Under the political patronage, the cunning industrialists looted public money, cheated the government of tax, cheated lending banks & cheated the investors
too. They easily flouted labour laws & made labourers to work in inhuman conditions.
During 1990's under the international pressure
bringing the FMCG industries - salt, chips, ketch-up, colas, for which
They are not bringing in new production technologies in the areas like space research, nuclear energy, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals or pollution control, to
1. There is lack of comprehensive environmental norms.
2. The enforcement of environmental norms is lax.
3. The cost of health coverage, social security net to be provided to the workers exposed to the occupational hazards is less.
4. The cost of compensation to be paid to the persons-who died or suffered damages due to occupational hazards/environmental pollution is meager.
5. The enforcement of labour laws are lax.
6. Public money can be easily raised through lending Banks, primary market within
7. The tax can be evaded through various loopholes like transferring money to holding companies situated at
8. The tax can be evaded, company money can be cheated by lending money to sister / holding concerns at low interest rates or by selling shares, materials to their private companies at low rates or by buying shares, materials from their holding/sister concerns at exhorbitant rates, etc.
9. The corporate governance laws are almost absent in
10. Above all, the time can be bought by very slow Indian legal system, if any dispute arise.
11. On top of it, well trained, technically qualified people are available at low rates through contractors.
Just consider the following cases which highlight the apathy, irresponsibility of government of
2. The people living near the mines of R.E.M.P. in Kerala are suffering due to exposure to the radio active materials, Same is the case with the people of Jadaguda, Jharkhand, living near the U.C.I.L. plant. Both M/S R.E.M.P & M/s U.C.I.L are department of atomic energy enterprises.
3. Few years back, In
4. In 1984, U.S. based MNC union carbide mass murdered nearly 20,000 people, injured lakhs who are still suffering health problems. The polluted poisonous accident site i.e. Union carbide plant in
This is still further damaging the residents of
5. In the above union carbide disaster, the Government of
American lives. Just imagine if a same disaster occurred in
7. The medicines like nimesulide, paracetamol, etc. with hazardous side effects which are banned in U.S.A.& Europe, are easily marketed by the same U.S.& Europe based MNCs in India.
8. In India spurious drugs, medicines, food stuffs are easily marketed.
9. In India, the clinical trials of new medicines under research are done without proper compensation structure to those being tried upon ie. Virtual guinea pigs.
10. In India, the genetically engineered BT crops are being introduced without paying attention to formers, ecology or eco-system.
11. In India, during setting up of large projects, scant attention is paid to environment, eco-system & the displaced persons.
Most of the times, in government projects itself the displaced persons are cheated by the government in numerous ways.
12. In India, various Government as well as private hospitals dumps hospital wastes with deadly viruses in the open, with scant regard to public health.
13. In India, aged ships belonging to foreign countries are breaked down to scrap in ship breaking yards of Gujarath , Maharashtra & AP. Various toxins like the Asbestos, lead, etc & the hazardous, dirty water, Oil inside the ship are drained into Indian seashore. The labourers here are forced to work without any safety gears.
14. When specific cases of human rights violations were brought before the government & Judiciary by us , both of them didn't respond at all.
All the above cases highlight the fact that, government of India & Indian judiciary treats it's citizens lives as cheap, dispensable at will. This is the major attracting force for MNCs to
At the first instance the Government of
department, factory inspectorate & pollution control board failed to enforce safety practices & environmental protection. In turn, the U.C.I.L didn't install in full, the safety measures being followed by it's parent company union carbide corporation (U.C.C) at it's
Various plants in the
Now, refer the following:-
1. After the accident at it's U.C.I.L. plant at
2. In 1985, Government of
victims didn't choose Government of
3. The paradox of this "
4. In 1989, when an appeal about interim compensation to be paid by the U.C.I.L to all the victims was being heard in the apex court, the supreme court of India without giving a chance to the victims to make their point, without consulting them, without making a proper assessment of damages/losses, gave an arbitrary figure as verdict & dropped all civil, criminal proceedings against U.C.C.&U.C.I.L
5. In the same year 1989, the Government of India without consulting the victims of disaster, without making proper assessment of damages/ losses, negotiated a settlement with the U.C.C. and in turn gave full legal immunity to U.C.C.& U.C.I.L from civil &
6. Even the Government of
After all these crimes, the Government of
date . It has even failed to get the accident site cleared off toxic wastes either by the culprit management or by it self, that too after 20 years. The very presence of these toxic wastes since 20 years is further contaminating, polluting the environment and taking toll of more victims.
Particularly in the case of "
Just consider a case here, Just a few years back an U.S.based M.N.C ENRON set-up a power project in
amounting over and above it's Capital base & insurance cover, then it would have been the duty of parent Enron & Government of
In the same way, the U.C.I.L has caused massive damages to Indians & refusing to pay commensurate to damages. Dow chemicals which took- over U.C.C. is also refusing to pay. DOW chemicals which is the new owner of U.C.C. naturally inherits both profits, credits lent & liabilities to pay of U.C.C. Still it is refusing to pay. Now it is the turn of Government of
Nowadays, it has become routine for central & State ministers to go- on foreign jaunts, to globe -trott inviting F.D.I/ M.N.Cs to
CORPORATE CRIMINALS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL ILLS IN
is causing inflation, feeding the mafia , underworld. Some industrialists lobby ( bribe ) with the government & gets favourable laws enacted. This black money is the main source of funds for political parties , religious bodies & terrorist outfits.
The recent raids by C.B.I & KARNATAKA LOKAYUKTHA have proved how the tax officials have become multi-millionaires. The sad part is that some of the police officials who are on deputation to C.B.I & LOKAYUKTHA themselves are utterly corrupt.
This scourge can only be cured by corporate accountability intoto. However , all the industrialists , traders who are demanding for more flexible labour reforms , economic reforms , infrastructure , etc are not at all concerned about their own accountability with respect to tax , environment , other laws. The MNCs coming to
heat of strict environment laws , consumer laws , share holder disclosures , corporate accountability. Some of these MNCs are being kicked out of their countries , by it's own people .These MNCs are aware that in India , by greasing the palms environment laws , labour laws , tax laws , etc everything can be flouted , cases in courts can be dragged on for years . share holder disclosures , corporate transparency is minimum.
However when a concerned citizen complains about the crimes of guilty corporates , organizations or corrupt public servants , immediate action is not taken. The file is kept pending for months , years together , allowing the criminals to manipulate all the evidences , records , ground situations. Finally even if action is taken guilty will be let out due to favorable evidences , there are chances that the concerned citizen himself is falsely implicated & put behind bars . in all such cases all the involved parties must be subjected to lie detector tests .
Bottomline : development is a must , it must be all around . but not at the cost of majority to make a few richer.
An appeal to honourable supreme court of USA & HE Honourable president elect Mr.Obama
Your government protects all Americans, all American companies both inside
However , when an American company butchers , causes mass man slaughter in a third country , as an American company did in
Some US based companies are selling soft drinks , food products , medicines , drugs in third world countries , which are causing grave health damages to the public. The quality standards of these products are fit cases of rejections by
Hereby, I do request your kindself ,
1 . to initiate criminal prosecution against US based key management personnel responsible for
2 . to make either the respective company management or US government to pay compensation to victims of
3 . to order the management of the said company to clean up
4 . To legally prosecute US exporters & US based companies selling products ( which violates US FDA regulations or banned in the
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