- Hundreds of protests break out across Europe against corporate impunity
- Campaigners call for end to obscure “ISDS” system used by multinationals use to bully governments
- Activists demand progress at UN negotiations in Geneva towards a strong Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.
- Golden Toilet Brush Awards for “evil corporations” launched – presentations to be given in several countries to nominees.
Next week, campaigners across Europe will stage hundreds of actions in protest against Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) a system of international tribunals multinationals use to bully governments that make policy they don’t like. Instead, campaigners are demanding that negotiators meeting in Geneva next week make good progress towards agreeing a strong UN Binding Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.
The protests also coincide with negotiations in Vienna aimed at expanding the ISDS system into a Multilateral Investment Court. Campaigners argue that instead of expanding the system, ISDS should be completely abolished. There will also a bus tour between Geneva and Vienna which will tour a number of cities and company HQs relevant to the campaign.
Some of the groups involved in the week of action have launched the Golden Toilet Brush Awards for corporations who have used the lack of a UN Treaty and the existence of ISDS to “get away” with unethical behaviour. The Golden Toilet Brush Award website (www.goldentoiletbrush.org) allows the public to vote for which nominee they believe deserves to win. They vote by “flushing” the company of their choice down a toilet.
Ten companies have been nominated for the award and the winner of the award will be announced after the vote closes later in the year.
Alex Scrivener, coordinator for the Right for People, Rules for Corporations – Stop ISDS campaign said:
“Across the continent people are uniting to demand an end to international systems that favour corporate rights over human rights. ISDS has allowed multinationals to strong-arm democratically elected governments into doing their bidding. This has to end. Instead, we need a new treaty at the UN that ensures that corporations are held to account for their actions, wherever they are based.”
“By launching the Golden Toilet Brush Awards, campaigners are putting the multinationals who abuse the privileges they have on notice. We need to flush the whole unfair ISDS system down the drain where it belongs. The era of corporate privilege and impunity must come to an end”