Paul Towers, Pesticide Action Network North America, 916-588-3100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarojeni Rengam, Executive Director, Pesticide Action Network Asia & the Pacific: 604-6570271 or 604-6560381; email@example.com
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International welcomed the recently adopted United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that would develop an international, legally binding mechanism to hold global corporations accountable to global human rights standards.
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 global 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, “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.”
The United Nations Human Rights Council is made up of 47 different international governments and is charged with “strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe”.