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Historic resolution adopted to hold TNCs accountable for global human rights violations

For Immediate Release 15 July 2014

Contact: Judy Hatcher, Executive Director, Pesticide Action Network North America: 415.625.9030; Sarojeni Rengam, Executive Director, Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific: 604-6570271 or 604-6560381;

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International welcomes the Human Rights Council resolution, adopted Jun 26 2014, to develop an international, legally binding mechanism to hold transnational corporations accountable to global human rights standards (see the resolution here). Speaking on behalf of PAN International, PAN North America Executive Director Judy Hatcher stated: “From Bhopal to West Virginia, ordinary people around the world have been suffering the human health, environmental safety, and livelihood impacts of unchecked corporate misconduct. It is time we hold transnational corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta, and Dow Chemical accountable for human rights violations.”

In Dec 2011, PAN International helped convene a Permanent People’s Tribunal Session on Agrochemical Transnational Corporations in Bangalore, India. This tribunal deemed the six largest agrichemical corporations – Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, and BASF, collectively known as the Big 6 – guilty of “gross, widespread, and systematic violations of human rights”. As stated in the verdict issued at the time by an independent jury of experts from around the world, “Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in the last four decades have acquired an enormous economic and political power which allows them as private organizations to exert considerable influence on politically legitimized institutions, to interfere into the regulatory framework, to disdain cultural traditions and to ignore the customs of the daily life of peoples.”

Sarojeni V. Rengam, Executive Director of PAN Asia & the Pacific, echoes this: “The monopoly control of agrochemical TNCs has led to grave losses in life, livelihood, and food sovereignty. We know from our experiences on the ground that these TNCs are too large and too powerful to be held accountable by individual survivors in domestic courts of law. This is why we need a legally binding mechanism at the international level, which can be accessed by affected communities to uphold justice. We hope this is what we get out of the current resolution.”

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