Mannal Babar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Storytelling Campaign highlights the value of Accountability in preventing human rights abuses in US supply chains
This campaign is produced by ICAR and partner organizations pushing for greater corporate accountability to prevent human rights abuses across value chains globally
WASHINGTON, DC – The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable today launches a storytelling project centering the voices of victims of human rights abuses in global supply chains. These stories, which take place with the supply chains of companies from the U.S., EU, and Canada, highlight the importance of legislation that holds corporations accountable for their value chains. This campaign went live on the official ICAR website on March 29th, 2022. The campaign web page consists of first-hand testimonies narrating the experiences of Indigenous community members in Mexico, workers calling for safer working conditions in Uganda, and garment factory employees telling their stories from Bangladesh.
ICAR partnered with organizations located in Mexico, Uganda, and Bangladesh to gather first-hand testimonies from people impacted by corporate activity in their communities and places of work. Stories from each region demonstrate how global value chains for corporations that are headquartered and sell in the west export abuses to the Global South to avoid liability. This campaign touches on various issues like workers’ safety, wage theft, environmental destruction as an aftermath of mining projects, and physical and sexual abuse in the garment industry.
The stories out of Puebla, Mexico were produced in partnership with the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Research (PODER). PODER interviewed Indigenous community members from the region that would be negatively impacted by a mining project in the region led by Almadén Minerals. The Ixtaca Mining Project, owned by the Canadian firm Almaden Minerals, is located in the municipality of Ixtacamaxtitlán in the Sierra Norte region of Puebla, Mexico. The community members have been fighting against this mining project for over 10 years. Through ICAR’s storytelling campaign, people from this community are able to come forward and tell their stories. To learn more, visit the Stories from Mexico webpage here.
The stories out of Uganda were produced in partnership with the Initiative for Social & Economic Rights (ISER). Our partners at ISER covered 3 different cases of human rights violations committed by corporations. The videos touch on issues of workers’ safety, unsafe working conditions, and environmental destruction, and shed light on the havoc created when corporations do not take the needs of a community seriously when attempting to use their land for profit. This campaign was designed to give the most vulnerable a platform. To learn more, visit the Stories from Uganda webpage here.
Stories collected from Bangladesh take us further into the world of fast fashion and were collected by partners from Odhikar. The team at Odhikar interviewed garment factory workers, revealing accounts of unsafe working conditions, physical and sexual abuse, wage theft, and exploitation. To read the first-hand testimonies, visit the Stories from Bangladesh webpage here.
“Policymakers need to be aware of how businesses in the U.S., the EU, and Canada are impacting communities in other countries. In the United States, these abuses would be in clear violation of the law, but holding companies accountable when those abuses take place outside the United States is very difficult under current law. The law prohibits them from certain human rights abuses here in the US but our laws don’t stop them from taking advantage of and even facilitating human rights abuses in other countries,” explains Noor Hamadeh, Advocacy Counsel at ICAR. “These stories are illustrative of the experiences of hundreds of thousands of others who are subjected to human rights abuses as a result of corporate activity, and who have no options for legal recourse. We need to enact legislation that protects the most vulnerable communities from corporate exploitation.”
ICAR advocates for lawmakers to create legal safeguards and legislation that would hold corporations accountable for violations of human rights occurring throughout their value chains. We stand to protect vulnerable workers, our environment, and our oceans. You can learn more about the campaign by visiting our website.
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) is a civil society organization that believes in the need for an economy that respects the rights of all people, not just powerful corporations. We harness the collective power of progressive organizations to push governments to create and enforce rules over corporations that promote human rights and reduce inequality. For more information, visit us: https://icar.ngo/