The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) is an independent, not-for-profit research and network organisation
working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable
development. Since 1973, the organisation investigates multinational
corporations and the consequences of their activities for people and the
environment around the world. More...
Call on the Dutch government: tackle corporate impunity for human rights abuses through a ‘smart mix’ of measures
Human rights abuses by companies are regularly covered by the media: think of the Nigerian farmers whose land is contaminated through the oil extraction activities of among others, Shell; the murders and threats to Colombian union leaders which reportedly oppose the mining company Drummond; or employees in unsafe textile factories in Bangladesh who manufacture for brands such as Benetton. The Netherlands should actively seek to put an end to the impunity that characterises these abuses. And it should do so by using a ‘smart mix’ of judicial and non-judicial measures.
Much of the coal used to provide the Netherlands with energy comes from controversial Colombian mining projects. SOMO’s briefing paper ‘Colombian coal in Europe’ firstly charts which role European energy suppliers play in this and how their supply chains look. The paper shows that there are still many structural problems in the Colombian mines and that there is a chronic lack of transparency in the coal supply chain. Furthermore, the import operations of the Italian company Enel, a large European importer of Colombian coal, are examined in a case study.
According to a leaked document, the EU is bent on using the TTIP negotiations with the US to get an agreement on financial regulation that, according to the analysis by Kenneth Haar of Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Myriam Vander Stichele of The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) will weaken reform and control of the financial sector.
A special issue of the Newsletter on EU financial reforms explains how the multi crisis at the EU is increasing after the EU elections and it discusses how the new Commission and European Parliament will impact on the crisis management and financial reform agenda of the EU. A short update on TTIP and TISA negotiations on financial services show that more problems are piling up.
Policy and case study research by a European coalition of civil society organisations shows that EU policy action is needed to secure decent work and prevent unfair trading practices in supermarket supply chains from developing countries. “We call on the European Parliament and the European Commission to step in as the policies supermarkets have adopted are not addressing these issues properly and new measures that have been set up by the industry will not offer a solution either”, says SOMO-researcher Sanne van der Wal. SOMO that is part of the CSO coalition sent its new briefing to EU policy makers today.