When Corporations Rule the World
by David KortenBuy at Powells and Support CEI
‘No to Fast Track’ Campaign Aims at Returning ‘Lame Ducks’
The AFL-CIO and its member unions launched a unique “station domination” ad campaign aimed at stopping possible congressional action on “Fast Track” trade authority legislation in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress. The ads run throughout Capitol South Metro station, the main Capitol Hill stop and one of the busiest stations on Washington, D.C.’s Metro system. The ads convey the too often hidden but always dramatic stakes in trade negotiations for working people.
24 TED Talks That Will Help Save the Food System
Food Tank
TED is a non-profit devoted to "ideas worth spreading", and you can find literally thousands of free--inspiring and awesome--talks from experts and innovators around the world. We've decided to highlight 24 TED talks specifically around food issues that we found compelling and worth sharing.
Promises in Bangladesh: Wal-Mart and Gap Hold Off on Legally Binding Pact to Improve Worker Safety
by  Shelly Banjo & Christina PassarielloWall Street Journal
Some of Europe's largest retailers agreed Monday to sign a legally binding agreement designed to improve safety conditions in Bangladesh's garment factories after a building collapse last month killed at least 1,127 workers and injured many more.
Avoiding the fire next time
by Economist StaffThe Economist
After the Dhaka factory collapse, foreign clothing firms are under pressure to improve working conditions at Bangladeshi suppliers, or to go elsewhere. The fire that swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York in 1911, killing 146 people, was the catalyst for big improvements in industrial working conditions in America. The collapse on April 24th of Rana Plaza—an eight-storey complex of clothing factories, near Dhaka, Bangladesh—was far deadlier, killing at least 400. Although the tragedy has led to calls for safer factories in Bangladesh and other developing countries, it is far from certain that this will happen.
G20 - People in, corporate sponsors out
It's unbelievable. The G20 -- the most powerful summit of world governments -- meets tomorrow to discuss the global economic crisis, and who is sponsoring the meeting? Banks and corporations! No wonder the site of the meeting -- the French city of Cannes -- is completely locked down to any ordinary citizens, while banks and large corporate CEOs have all access passes to tell our governments what to do.
RELEASE: World Bank partners with Nestlé to "transform water sector" New venture aims to privatize water country by country
the World Bank launched a new partnership with global corporations including Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Veolia. Housed at the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the new venture aspires to “transform the water sector” by inserting the corporate sector into what has historically been a public service. The new partnership is part of a broader trend of industry collusion to influence global water policy.
Wal-Mart cleared to buy South Africa's Massmart
South African competition authorities have given the go-ahead to US store giant Wal-Mart's $2.4bn (£1.5bn) bid for local retailer Massmart. It has imposed conditions on the bid, such as a ban on firing workers in the first two years.
Nils Gilman: Deviant Globalization [video]
by The Long Now
Nils Gilman describes deviant globalization as "the unpleasant underside of transnational integration." These are not marginal, "informal" activities. These are enormous, complex businesses straight out of the Harvard Business Review. The drug business in Mexico, for example, employs 400,000 people. A thousand-dollar kilo of cocaine grows in value by 1400-percent when it crosses into the U.S. -- nice profit margin there.
The Plundered Planet [video]
by Paul CollierPolicy Innovations
It is a pleasure to welcome him back to this Public Affairs Program, on the publication of his latest book, The Plundered Planet: Why We Must—and How We Can—Manage Nature for Global Prosperity. This work builds upon his renowned research on developing countries and the poorest populations. The same skills that Professor Collier displayed in his earlier texts are evident once again, which is to say, straightforward explanations, humor, and accessibility. It is also a bit more personal, in that he talks about his own struggle to reconcile the quest for global prosperity with an ethical approach to the natural world.
Global governance priorities in an interdependent world - balancing the economic and the environmental crisis [video]
by Susan GeorgeTNI
The current crisis has exacerbated the effects of neoliberalism and hugely increased inequality, with money going from labour to capital.
Civil Society Consultations with the International Monetary Fund on Reform of IMF Governance
by Compiled and Summarized by Domenico Lombardi Policy Innovations
This document responds to the request of the IMF's Managing Director to New Rules for Global Finance Coalition to present a summary of civil society recommendations on IMF Governance Reform.
Public 'unaware' of scale of corporate tax evasion in developing countries [UK]
by ActionAidBHRRC
A YouGov survey commissioned by ActionAid has found that most adults in the UK are unaware of the scale of illegal tax evasion by multinational companies operating in poor countries
[PDF] Human Rights and Sustainability: A Corporate Perspective
by Edward Potter & Marika McCauley Sine, Coca-Cola,BHRRC
In particular, upholding internationally recognized human rights based on declarations and treaties has not been viewed as part of business activity. In our view, this is not a position on which global U.S. business can hope to survive and thrive in today’s globalized economy.
ViewPoint: The Looting of Equatorial Guinea
by  Bill BaueSeaChange
In July 2009, Human Rights Watch released a report entitled Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea. In this commentary, HRW Director of Business and Human Rights Arvind Ganesan links this tiny Sub-Sahara African countries’ oil wealth to government corruption and human rights abuses.
VOICES: ICE-Police cooperation expanded despite known problems
by Bill Ong Hing, New America Media ISS
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's announcement earlier this month that the 287(g) agreement program would be expanded sent shock waves through the immigrant rights community.
Confronting global trade as a root cause of the financial crisis!
Some Key Points for Member Groups of the Our World Is Not For Sale Network [OWINFS] at the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, June 22-24, 2009.
G8 move to halt 'farmland grabbing'
by Michiyo Nakamoto and Javier BlasAfrican Agriculture Blog
Japan will spearhead a drive at the Group of Eight summit to prevent "farmland grabbing" in developing countries and encourage responsible investing in agriculture.
A Blight on the Nation: Slavery in Today's America
by Rod SoodalterPolicy Innovations
The American humorist Will Rogers once said, "It ain't that we're so dumb; it's just that what we know ain't so."
Beyond the Fence: A Journey to the Roots of the Migration Crisis
by Dori StoneFoodFirst
Inspiring stories of Mexico’s farmer to farmer movements restoring degraded hillsides and watersheds, reclaiming old methods of seed saving and seed exchange, and incorporating the latest agroecological techniques developed by other farmers and agroecology scientists and practitioners.
Privatising water is denying people a human right: UN President
by Bobby Ramakant, Citizen News Service (CNS) Dated: BHRRC
The President of the United Nations General Assembly has told delegates at the 5th World Water Forum (WWF) in Istanbul, Turkey, that, "those who are committed to the privatization of water, making it a commodity like oil, are denying people a human right as basic as the air we breathe."
China suggests switch from dollar
China's central bank has called for a new global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund to replace the US dollar.
Europe to Allow Two Bans on Genetically Altered Crops
European Union governments delivered a blow Monday to the biotechnology industry, allowing Austria and Hungary to maintain national bans on growing genetically modified crops from Monsanto.
G-20 pledge sustained action on financial crisis
by Jane WardellEvansville Courier Press
Finance officials from rich and developing countries pledged Saturday to do "whatever is necessary" to fix the global economy, including supervision of freewheeling hedge funds and restoring bank lending by dealing with the shaky securities clogging their finances.
GSK's voluntary price reductions and patent pooling are not enough
by Christian Barry, Matt Peterson Policy Innovations
British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline was lauded in headlines for its recent announcement that it would voluntarily act to improve access to medicines in developing countries. But will GSK's measures really enhance the health of the global poor?
Mexico state and Canadian union sign migrant worker protection pact
by United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) [Canada] Dated: BHRRC
On Tuesday, February 24, Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW [United Food & Commercial Workers] Canada, and Governor Leonel Godoy Rangel from the State of Michoacán signed a landmark co-operation agreement to ensure that the human and labour rights of agricultural workers from Michoacán, Mexico are recognized and enforced while they work in Canadian fields and greenhouses.
Xstrata Dreaming: The Struggle of Aboriginal Australians against a Swiss Mining Giant
by Michael DeibertCorpWatch
The McArthur River winds through Australia’s remote Northern Territory creating lush floodplains that sustain vast herds of kangaroos, wallabies and cattle. Above them, finches, wild turkeys, and flocks of migratory birds fill an endless sky.
Ma Jun: China's environmental patriot
...Ma [Jun] now takes the fight to polluters, shaming factories on a website run by his non-governmental organisation the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE).
France's Suez liable for illegal deforestation, "dynamite fishing" in the Amazon rainforest
A consortium building the Jirau hydroelectric dam in Brazil near the Bolivian border has been ordered to pay roughly $3.5 million in fines for illegally logging nearly 50 acres (18.6 ha) of forest and using dynamite to kill 11 tons of fish in local rivers, reports the Spanish news agency EFE.
Biofuels cause land scramble in Tanzania
East African Business Week
A new scramble for arable land in Tanzania has started - the coastline and the fertile land in Northern and Southern Tanzania being the prime targets.
Political violence in Madagascar may lead Daewoo to abandon controversial farm project
Political instability and low commodity prices may lead South Korea's Daewoo Logistics to delay or pull out of a controversial agricultural project in Madagascar, reports Reuters.
Peru mining security firm faces investigation
A Peruvian security company that works for some major international mining firms faces a congressional investigation after [the National Coordinating Committee for Human Rights] accused it of beating and abusing protesters in 2005
Toward a new day for trade
Human Rights for Workers
In a letter sent to Congress on February 7, more than 350 organizations representing faith, family farm, labor, consumer, and environmental groups said they strongly support Senate and House action to “replace the failed trade policies of the past with those that deliver broadly shared benefits.”
[PDF] full report: "Breaking Ground: Engaging Communities in Extractive and Infrastructure Projects"
WRI [World Resources Institute] analyzed existing community engagement standards and guidance, as well as experiences in several high profile projects. Based on this analysis, WRI developed seven Principles for Effective Community Engagement for extractive and infrastructure projects...
Chevron urges U.S. to revoke Ecuador trade
by Tom Lobianco BHRRC
Chevron executives are renewing efforts to have Ecuador's preferential trade status with the U.S. revoked next month…Chevron and its subsidiary Texaco have been locked in a legal battle in the South American country since 1993 when…
Your shirt off their backs
by Craig and Marc KielburgerThe Star
n a restaurant, we overheard a common exchange. “Nice shirt,” said one patron. “Where’s it from?”
Does Legalizing Prostitution Work?
by H. MeesPolicy Innovations
Prostitution is virtually the only part of the personal services industry in the Netherlands that works. One can't get a manicure in Amsterdam without booking an appointment two weeks in advance, but men can buy sex anytime—and at an attractive price. The legalization of prostitution in October 2000 merely codified a long-standing Dutch tradition of tolerance towards buying and selling sex. But is legalization the right approach?
Neo-colonialism and the farms-race
by E. RegulyGlobe and Mail
The Arab states invest their oil fortunes in the craziest things, from the proposed Mile-High Tower in Jiddah to the indoor ski resort in dry-as-dust Dubai. Perhaps the craziest idea yet is Saudi Arabian wheat. Some 30 years ago, the lake- and river-less kingdom decided it should be self-sufficient in wheat.
Ethiopia coffee exporters must sell stocks, says commodity exchange
by Daniel Wallis and Tsegaye TadesseAfrican Agriculture Blog
Ethiopian coffee exporters, accused of hoarding in Africa's biggest producer, must accept lower global prices and sell stocks, the head of Ethiopia's new commodity exchange said on January 30.
Norway finds Canada's largest publicly-traded company, Barrick Gold, unethical
by S. SaundersCorpWatch
Norway's Ministry of Finance announced Friday that it would exclude mining giant Barrick Gold and U.S. weapons producer Textron Inc from the country's pension fund for ethical reasons. This is an especially significant judgment for Canada, as Barrick gold is currently Canada's largest publicly traded company.
World's highest drug levels entering India stream
When researchers analyzed...treated wastewater...from a plant where about 90 Indian drug factories dump their residues...The supposedly cleaned water was a floating medicine cabinet
Pfizer Drug Trial Case In Nigeria To Restart Feb 25, 2009
A Nigerian court Wednesday adjourned to next month the multi-billion-dollar suit against U.S. drug firm Pfizer Inc. (PFE) by the Kano state government to allow for more time for an out-of-court settlement.
Detainee deaths in Va. raise questions about immigration detention practices
ISS-Facing South
Immigration advocates say the second death of an illegal immigrant being held in a Farmville, Va. jail underscores a lack accountability in U.S. detainee practices. Immigrant detainees at the Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville, Va. have recently come forward to expose conditions of medical neglect that contributed to the November 2008 death of immigration detainee Guido Newbrough. Autopsy reports show that he died from a virulent staph infection.
Beef drives 80% of Amazon deforestation
by R.
Nearly 80 percent of land deforested in the Amazon from 1996-2006 is now used for cattle pasture, according to a report released today by Greenpeace at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil.
Norwegian company accused of trying to 'con' land out of rural communities
African Agriculture Blog
Sharing our experiences with other communities may very well be one of the most vital steps in defending the land, because it offers us a chance to spare others from repeating our mistakes - and from having to bear the burden so often associated with its destruction.
Industrial pollution chokes people, crops alike
by Mirza Shakil and Pinaki RoyDaily Star
Ammonia mixed toxic gas and urea dust emitted from Jamuna Fertiliser Factory (JFF) in Jamalpur have allegedly been wreaking havoc on the local environment and causing debilitating illnesses among the locals.
China Slump May Worsen Pollution
by Michael Lelyveld Pacific Environment
China's economic slowdown is likely to result in worsened pollution, setting back efforts to clean up the environment, experts say.
Sex Slavery
by Siddharth Kara PolicyInnovations
Globalization has increased the supply of trafficked sex slaves, driving down prices and feeding "consumer" demand. Siddharth Kara uses a unique business analysis of the problem to show how the profitability of the supply chain can be disrupted by raising the risks and penalties for traffickers.
US accused of abdicating role as human rights defender
by Richard Norton TaylorGuardian UK
Human Rights Watch condemns Bush government, along with criticism of Afghanistan, Israel, Sudan, India, Afghanistan and Palestinian security forces
Treasury: deficit hits new record in just 3 months
by Martin CrutsingerEvansville Courier & Press
The federal government already has run up a record deficit of $485.2 billion in just the first three months of the current budget year. And economists say the imbalance for the full year could easily top $1 trillion, pushed to that eye-popping level by the spending the government is likely to do to combat the recession and the most severe financial crisis in generations.
Food Sovereignty
Stuffed and Starved
If you’ve been following the debates around the international food crisis, you’ll have spotted a new and odd bit of language coming from the progressive corner. In defence of a sustainable food system, activists are summoning up a new and portentous term -- ‘food sovereignty’.
Amazon rainforest damage surges 67% in 2008
The area of rainforest in the process of being deforested — razed but not yet cleared — surged in the Brazilian Amazon during 2008, according to new figures released by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The announcement comes shortly after the Brazilian government reported a 4 percent increase in forest clearing for the year.
Mountains of Concrete: Dam Building in the Himalayas
by Shripad Dharmadhikary, for Intl. RiversBHRRC
India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan are planning to transform the Himalayan rivers into the powerhouse of South Asia.
Dim Christmas spirits in Detroit
by  Paul Eisenstein BBC
But the holiday lights - the ones people have bothered to put out - seem dimmer than usual, reflecting the mood of the few folks you see at the department stores normally packed wall-to-wall in the final days before the holidays begin.
Aid Effectiveness beyond Accra: good governance & anti-corruption 2010
by Daniel KaufmanKaufman Report
Let us not exult. The last minute changes are far from path-breaking. But they are encouraging because they ‘officially’ recognize the role of independent Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as third party monitors and as active participants in the policy dialogue; they support local (not donor) ownership of development programs, and they commit to transparency in aid and to a few timelines for progress on selected areas (such as on reducing aid fragmentation and duplication).
December 18th - International Migrants' Day highlights Trade Issues [PDF]
Public Services International
On the occasion of the UN-declared International Migrants’ Day, PSI joins the ITUC, Global Unions, civil society and the international community in celebrating the human rights of all migrant workers and members of their families worldwide.
Freedom of Expression and Privacy Rights in Countries that Censor the Internet
by Anita RamasastryB&HRRC
[A]n issue of growing concern [is that] although Internet connectivity has allowed many people to have access to more information and knowledge,
Battle in a Poor Land for Riches Beneath the Soil
by Lydia PolgrenNYTOnline
Until last year, the only trigger Amoumoun Halil had pulled was the one on his livestock-vaccination gun. This spring, a battered Kalashnikov rifle rested uneasily on his shoulder. When he donned his stiff fatigues, his lopsided gait and smiling eyes stood out among his hard-faced guerrilla brethren.
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China
by Leslie ChangBuy at Powell's - Support BEN
An eye-opening and previously untold story, Factory Girls is the first look into the everyday lives of the migrant factory population in China.
Why not get arrested today!
Representatives of millions of Greenpeace supporters from around the world arrived at the doorstep of the Japanese Prime Minister in Tokyo today to demand an end to the political persecution of two Greenpeace anti-whaling activists, and an end to Japan's whaling in the Southern Ocean. Embassy actions are scheduled around the world today and tomorrow.
Hervé Kempf on Corporate Watchdog Radio [w/AUDIO]
by Hervé Kempf, Bill Baue, Francesca RheannonChelsea Green
Some view the negative impacts of economics and environment as separate. But Hervé Kempf sees financial inequality and environmental destruction as inextricably linked. The author of How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth, Kempf says the wealthy of the world are living unsustainable lifestyles, and everyone else is also trashing the Earth trying to keep up with the rich Joneses. The solution? Move away from materialism and growth.
Tackle climate change by ending EU house bank's multi-billion subsidies for fossil fuels
by BankWatchB&HRCC
The European Investment Bank (EIB)…must stop fueling climate change by phasing out its investments in fossil fuels by 2012.
The Fruits of their labor
Facing South
"We used to own our slaves -- now we just rent them."
Recycling goes from boom to bust as economy stalls
by P.J. DickerscheidEvansville Courier & Press
Norm Steenstra's budgeting worries mount with each new load of cardboard, aluminum cans and plastics jugs dumped at West Virginia's largest county recycling center.
Wal-Mart: A bully benefactor
by Marc GuntherFortune
- Children who are forced to pick cotton in Uzbekistan, farmers scratching out a living in Guatemala and salmon fishermen in Bristol Bay, Alaska, would not seem to have much in common. But all are feeling the global impact of Wal-Mart.
The Little REDD Book
Global Canopy Programme
Ahead of the the UN Climate Change meeting on Dec 1st in Poznan, the "Little REDD Book" is a guide to aid understanding of the UN mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). The mechanism will be a major issue of discussion at Poznan and getting it right represents the single biggest opportunity to help halt deforestation in developing countries.
In China’s Mining Region, Villagers Stand Up To Pollution
by Zhou Jigang and Zhu Chuhuaenvironment360
After decades of living with fouled rivers and filthy air, residents of China’s Manganese Triangle are rising up and refusing to accept the intolerable conditions created by illegal mining activity. Their bold protests have shone light on the dark side of China’s economic boom. From Sichuan province, Chinese journalists Zhou Jigang and Zhu Chuhua report.
CSR and the Role of the Private Sector in the Sexual Exploitation of Children [PDF]
World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents
World Congress III highlights the importance of corporate social responsibility in the fight against sexual exploitation
The Wealthy Farm Africa
In the face of food shortages and with demand for biofuels growing, an increasing number of wealthy nations are buying up land in developing countries, particularly in Africa, to ensure a steady supply of crops.
Corporate Social License and Community Consent
by Keith Slack OxfamB&HRRC
"Social license to operate" is an intriguing new phrase that has entered corporate parlance in recent years.
2009 Shop with a Conscience guide!
A consumer guide for anyone wanting to make sure their purchases do good while generating smiles!
All Starbucks' coffee to be Fairtrade
by Martin Hickman The IndependentB&HRCC
Starbucks is to make every cappuccino, mocha and latte it sells in Britain Fairtrade in an attempt to reverse a sales slump that has hit its global expansion
The (Tuna) Tragedy of the Commons
by Andrew RevkinNYT
There was new evidence early this week that the world has not yet absorbed just how deeply humans have depleted our “exhausted oceans.” At the latest meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, created under a treaty 42 years ago to manage shared fisheries in that ocean, European governments ignored a strong recommendation from the group’s own scientific advisers for deep cuts in some harvests of the Atlantic bluefin tuna.
Naomi Klein on the Bailout Profiteers and the Multi-Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene
by Klein and GoodmanDemocracy Now!
“The more details emerge, the clearer it becomes that Washington’s handling of the Wall Street bailout is not merely incompetent. It is borderline criminal,” says Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine. [includes rush transcript]
Big Business and the U.N. - Toward a new framework for corporate responsibility
by Robert SenserB&HRRC
So where does the struggle for human rights stand? There is good reason for cautious optimism, thanks to the Human Rights Council’s adoption of the Ruggie paradigm.
'In fact, every Canadian has a stake in this' and, so does everyone else!
by Barbara YaffeeVancouver Sun
Alberta is losing the public relations war when it comes to the oilsands, just as a new U.S. president is poised to renew America's energy policy.
The grades are in! TV manufacturers put to the test
Electronics Takeback
With only three months to go until the digital TV conversion, the Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC) today released its new TV Recycling Report Card, grading the major TV manufacturers on their efforts to establish national programs to take back and recycle their old TVs. More than half of the 17 companies ranked scored a failing “F” grade, because they have no recycling program in place. Sony received the highest grade, a B minus, with other companies scoring C's and D's.
The potential of sunflower biodiesel
by Leandi CameronAfrican Agriculture Blog
In 1973, a fuel crisis hit the world, and then again in 1979, which led to South Africa, in desperate need of fuel, researching fuel crops in the hope of developing the very first biodiesel-from-sunflower technology.
An Evaluation Report on the project “Strengthening Responsible Corporate Citizenship in the Businesses of the MENA Region” [PDF]
This project was executed within the framework of the Fifth MENA Development Forum (MDF5);a partnership conference of the World Bank Group, the United Nations Development Programme and MENA think tanks.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
United Nations
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) turns 60 on 10 December 2008. On Human Rights Day 2007, the United Nations Secretary General launched a year-long UN system-wide advocacy campaign to mark this important milestone. The initiative celebrates the Declaration and the promise that has made this document so enduring: “Dignity and justice for all of us”.
Cheney, Gonzales Indicted in Texas Prisoner Abuse Case
by Christopher Sherman, The Associated PressB&HRRC
…[A] grand jury has indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on state charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in…federal detention centers…
Archer Daniels Midland CEO Patricia Woertz Admits Rainforest Destruction in Brazil
Confronted with statements by Rainforest Action Network (RAN) spokespeople questioning the company’s social and environmental record, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) CEO Patricia Woertz admitted that rainforests are being destroyed in Brazil.
Don Tyson Details Plans to Export the U.S. Meat Model of CAFOs to Global South
by Tom Philpott GRISTOCA
A handful of large companies [PDF] dominate the U.S. meat industry. The biggest of all (besides Cargill whose interests extend well beyond meat) is Tyson Foods, one of the two largest beef packers, the second-largest pork packer, and the second-largest chicken producer.
Belize’s Reefs and Mangroves Tagged with High Economic Value
Three key services provided by coral reefs and mangroves in Belize are worth an estimated US$395 million to US$559 million per year, according to a report released today by the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.
Spam plummets as gang leaves net
The closure of a web hosting firm that is believed to have had spam gangs as clients has led to a drastic reduction in junk mail.
Myanmar jails dissidents for 65 years
by Aung Hla TunReuters/Yahoo
Myanmar's military junta sentenced at least 11 dissidents involved in monk-led protests last year to 65 years in jail on Tuesday, opposition figures said, a major blow to the pro-democracy movement before a 2010 election.
Celebrating the soya moratorium
November 11th, 2008
The announcement of the extension of a moratorium on soya expansion provides hope for the Amazon rainforest.
NRG rejects Exelon's $6.1B buyout offer
by Mark WilliamsCourierPress
Power generator NRG Energy Inc. on Sunday rejected an unsolicited $6.1 billion all-stock bid from nuclear power giant and utility operator Exelon Corp., calling the offer that would create the nation's largest power company too low.
IEN-Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign
"If we don't have land and we don't have anywhere to carry out our traditional lifestyles, we lose who we are as a people. So, if there's no land, then its equivalent in our estimation to genocide of a people." George Poitras, Mikisew Cree First Nation
Agency calls on Mexico to protect migrants
Mexico's National Human Rights Commission asked legislators on Sunday to change the country's laws so that police would no longer have to ask migrants about their legal status when they file criminal complaints.
President Obama’s Big Climate Challenge
by Bill McKibbene360
And so our eight-year interlude from reality draws to a close, and the job of cleaning up begins. The trouble is, we’re not just cleaning up after a failed presidency. We’re cleaning up after a two-century binge.
Child Labor In Wuhan, Chinese Argue Good or Bad - Supply chain problems abound.
In Wuhan, some black-hearted factory bosses use children as labor to squeeze extreme profits; some of these children toiling day and night for them, shedding countless tears of suffering and hardship.
High-Stakes Trial in San Francisco Focuses Attention on Chevron's Growing Human Rights Problems Around Globe
Earth Times
Chevron is embarking today on a high stakes defense in U.S. federal court against charges that it helped orchestrate the killing of two Nigerian villagers at a time when its corporate legal department is under mounting pressure for disregarding human rights issues, an environmental group said today.
Critics nix deployment of troops in mining sites
sun star
Anti-mining advocates here greeted with resistance the Department of National Defense's plan to deploy soldiers to foreign-backed mining projects for protection from communist attacks.
Regulating the Human Rights Impact of State-owned Enterprises: Tendencies of Corporate Accountability and State Responsibility [PDF]
International Commission of Jurists
When viewed against the backdrop of the challenges of corporate regulation generally, Stateowned enterprises (SOEs) emerge as a form of corporate actor in respect of which there exists significant potential for stronger regulation.
Thieves and Liars: Exxon’s Plundering of Americans Breaks Another Record
by Riki OttChelsea Green
This is the kind of thing that makes me shiver with absolute fury. Exxon (oft regarded as the most damaging, irresponsible, greedy, and dangerous corporation inflicted upon modern man) is being rewarded for their plundering with another quarter of record profits
Mexico Pays Fishermen to Help Save a Species
by Elisabeth MalkinNYT
About 800 fishermen in the northernmost crook of the Gulf of California have taken up the government’s offer of payments to stop fishing with nets and, in some cases, to stop fishing altogether, Mexican conservationists said on Tuesday.
Tar Sands, Banking Crisis, & Peak Oil - Mired At The Crossroads
by John LaumerTreeHugger
As expected, investment in Alberta Tar Sand (what the industry likes to refer to as "oil sands") developments are being cut back a bit; but tar sands developers still expect to remain profitable, even if oil hits US$60/barrel.
China's environmental NGOs' influence increases as total doubles in 3 years
China's environmental NGOs' influence increases as total doubles in 3 years
China's grassroot non-governmental organizations (NGO) dedicated to environment protection have more influence now with the doubling of their number in the past three years, according to a report.
London is THE Fairtrade city!
Hundreds of London-based businesses have given their backing to a campaign that will see the capital become the world's largest Fairtrade City.
Experts Call For Environmental Action In Arab World
Daily Star
Arab leaders should take urgent action to address water shortages, air and marine pollution, and other environmental problems, a new report warns. Released at the annual conference of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development in Bahrain, the report is a first-ever look at the region’s eco-challenges by independent experts.
Bananas and guns
After the factual proffer was filed in the case against Chiquita Brands International before the US District Court of the District of Columbia on March 14, 2007, in which it was verified Chiquita Brands International, through its subsidiary in Colombia, Banadex S.A., made monthly payments for over six years to the paramilitary structures in the regions of Urabá and Santa Marta,
Wheat, Fertilizer, Ammonia and Land Realities Threaten Global Food Supply
by Neal Rauhauser Cutting Edge
Farming has changed dramatically in the last century. The horse as a source of power, the cow as a source of fertilizer, and triennial mix of corn, alfalfa or soy, and letting the land lay fallow is gone.
Kazakhstan warns miners, oil firms on environment
In 2003, Tengizchevroil was fined a separate $71 million at a time when Chevron and other private shareholders in Tengizchevroil were involved in a dispute with the government over financing and profit distribution.
The Gates of Hell - Jungle takes a look at the lesser known side of the ethanol boom
by Petra CostaJungle Drums
"We still haven't found any slaves!", Sandy whispers in my ear, worried about the financial and journalistic ramifications. "We have to leave tomorrow and, if we don't come across any slaves today, just think about the thousands of dollars we've invested in this article..."
Shadow and Light
Photographer Ed Kashi has documented the stark contradictions between the abundance of Nigeria’s oil and the poverty that overshadows daily life in the Niger Delta. Asume Isaac Osuoka is an advocate for transparency and accountability, and works to ensure that extractive industry revenues benefit the people who live amid Nigeria’s vast natural resource wealth. In this multimedia piece produced by OSI and partner Revenue Watch Institute, Kashi and Osuoka describe the struggles of the Niger Delta’s citizens and the dire need for fair and responsible revenue management.
Thinking Anew About a Migratory Barrier: Roads
by Jim RobbinsNYT online
Dr. Chris Servheen spends a lot of time mulling a serious scientific question: why didn’t the grizzly bear cross the road?
Zero Issue 2008: The World Food Crisis and the Right to Food
There is currently no international publication that monitors the concept of food as a human right and keeps track of patterns of right to food violations while also monitoring their impact. The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch is therefore the first publication of its kind as it provides a systematic compilation of best practices for the realization of the right to food and also documents where violations have been committed.
Azerbaijani workers receive an insignificant part of the oil pie as compared to foreigners
The rights of workers are violated not only in foreign companies but also in SOCAR", said Mirvari Gahramanly, chairman of the committee of protection of oil workers rights and famous human rights activist.
Environmental Crime - a Threat to Our Future
EIA this week issues a 'call to action' urging the international community to combat organised environmental crime, which it says is a serious and growing threat across the world.
Indonesian Officials Unveil a Deal to Protect Forests
by James KanterNYT
All 10 provincial governors of the island of Sumatra agreed to a deal to protect endangered forests, a move that could help control planet-warming emissions, Indonesian authorities said Thursday at a global conservation conference here.
Nature loss 'dwarfs bank crisis'
by Richard BlackBBC
The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.
Mining companies expand their operations abroad - and so do their problems
by Ophelia LuiCSR Asia
To tarnish the already notorious Chinese mining industry frequented with disastrous accidents, Bloomberg Markets further highlights the problem of child labour involving Chinese-based companies in South Africa in their recent special report.
A Corporate Approach to Rescuing the World’s Fisheries
by Nicholas DayYale Environment360
After overfishing decimated Atlantic and North Sea cod in the 1980s and 1990s, European fish buyers looked around for a cheap and abundant source of the prized species.
Illegal Logging Market: from there to Wal-Mart.
New Yorker Online
This week in the magazine, Raffi Khatchadourian writes about the illegal logging market. Here he discusses how a tree from halfway around the world becomes a toilet seat at your local Wal-Mart.
Body Shopping: The Economy Fuelled by Flesh and Blood
by Donna DickensonBuy at Powell's * Support BEN
Our tissues, genes, and organs are becoming, in the words of the head of one pharmaceutical company, 'the currency of the future'. From the trafficking of women for their eggs to 'beauty junkies', Dickenson reveals the ingenious ways that body parts are converted into profits. Drawing on 20 years of insider knowledge, Dickenson's sweeping exploration goes beyond the horror stories to suggest a range of strategies to bring the global biotechnology industry to heel.
Scientists on Cellulosic Fuel: Avoid Mistakes Before They Happen
by Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbinr.NYT
When the 2008 farm bill passed in May, there was much speculation about its potential impact on the development of cellulosic ethanol.
Incorporating Labor and Human Rights Risk Into Investment Decisions[PDF]
Aaron Bernstein, Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program (LWP) Dated: Sep 2008
A mounting number of institutional investors and global lenders are widening conventional investment decision-making to incorporate assessments of the risks posed by company practices affecting labor and human rights...
HP Steps Up IT Industry Transparency, Releases Supply Chain Emissions Data
by  Jaymi HeimbuchTreeHugger
While greenwashing abounds, transparency in all forms is quickly becoming a requirement if a company wants to prove their green mettle. So is being the first to do something green. HP makes this apparent with their first-in-the-industry move to open up their emissions data related to their largest suppliers.
Wal-Mart China Unions!
Wal-Mart Watch
Within two months of starting an intense campaign to get Wal-Mart China stores to sign collective contracts, the Chinese labor union has declared success.
Monsanto and Michael Pollan Talk About Creating a World That Can Feed Itself
Michael Pollan and Hugh Grant (president and CEO of Monsanto, not the floppy-haired British actor) on the same panel? Bring it. In this 36-minute video, taken on Sept. 17, 2008, Pollan, Grant, and Sonal Shah, a development expert at, talk about the sustainability of food production.
Cotton Symbolises Global Trade System’s 'Iniquity'
by Francis KokutseIPS
The international cotton trade has been a sad tale for West African countries. The region produces five percent of the world’s cotton and 15 percent of the global cotton fibre trade. Yet West African cotton farmers are among the poorest in the world.
Argentine Law Offers Model to Fight Sweatshop Labor
by Paula Alvarado, Buenos Aires TreeHugger
The Argentine government is pushing a new law that, they say, will help regularize the situation of workers from the textile industry.
Hungry for Justice: How the World Food System Fails the Poor
Americas Program
Inequalities in the world's food system have been aggravated by recent developments to create the much talked-about food crisis. But what is behind the headlines? This new series delves into agrofuels, trade policy, corporate concentration, climate change, and rising demand to help sort out the real causes of the crisis and what needs to be done about it.
Human Trafficking and Abusive Conditions ~ for WalMart
National Labor Commitee
There are approximately 1,400 guest workers at the Mediterranean factory—from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. All of the guest workers are currently on strike due to the abusive conditions and gross violations of their fundamental rights. The workers sew clothing for Wal-Mart (White Stag label) and Hanes (Champion).
Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants
by David BaconBuy at Powell's * Support CEI/BEN
For two decades veteran photojournalist David Bacon has documented the connections between labor, migration, and the global economy. In Illegal People Bacon explores the human side of globalization, exposing the many ways it uproots people in Latin America and Asia, driving them to migrate. At the same time, U.S. immigration policy makes the labor of those displaced people a crime in the United States. Illegal People explains why our national policy produces even more displacement, more migration, more immigration raids, and a more divided, polarized society.
India Grapples With How to Convert Its Farmland Into Factories
by Somini Sengupta, New York TimesCorpWatch
Barely a month before Tata, one of India’s most powerful conglomerates, was due to roll out the world’s cheapest car from a new factory on these former potato and rice fields, a peasant uprising has forced the company to suspend work on the plant and consider pulling out altogether.
China Plans Massive $3.5 Billion GM Crops Push
by  Jeremy Elton Jacquot, Los AngelesTreeHugger
Driven by the increasingly pressing need to provide a stable food supply for its surging population (1.3 billion and growing), China has decided to engineer its own "Green Revolution" by embarking on a massive $3.5 billion GM crops R&D initiative, reports Science's Richard Stone.
Two Chevron Lawyers Indicted in Ecuador
by Alison Frankel The American
Chevron's Ecuadorean quagmire got deeper and dirtier Friday, with the announcement that two longtime lawyers for the company have been indicted by the Ecuadorean government.
With White House Push, U.S. Arms Sales Jump
by Eric LiptonNYT Online
The Bush administration is pushing through a broad array of foreign weapons deals as it seeks to rearm Iraq and Afghanistan, contain North Korea and Iran, and solidify ties with onetime Russian allies.
ViewPoint - Brian Campbell of the ILRF
Brian Campbell of International Labor Rights Forum comments on the plight of cocoa farmers and workers.
Planet of Slums
by Mike DavisBuy at Powells * Support CEI/BEN
According to the United Nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the South. In this brilliant and influential book, Mike Davis explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world.
CIEL and colleagues find that leading international banks do not have a robust framework for minimizing the social risks posed by their projects.
A new study finds that international project financiers, including the leading international banks and the International Finance Corporation, do not have a robust framework for minimizing the social risks posed by their projects.
The truth about GM
by Colin TudgeThe New Statesman
Will GM technology feed the world - or destroy farming, and human health, in the name of corporate profit? How can we tell, when the science is up for sale?
Is America Losing At Globalization?
by Daniel GrossNewsweek
In the just-completed summer Olympics, America's status as the globe's athletic hegemon was clearly under attack. The United States won the overall medal race, edging out China 110 to 100.
Rich Countries Once Used Gunboats to Seize Food. Now They Use Trade Deals
by George Monbiot - UK GuardianOCA
"The Guardian" " -- -- In his book Late Victorian Holocausts, Mike Davis tells the story of the famines that sucked the guts out of India in the 1870s. The hunger began when a drought, caused by El Niño, killed the crops on the Deccan plateau.
US in '$4bn cotton row sanction'
BBC Business
The US may face $4bn (£2.2bn) in annual trade sanctions for failing to scrap illegal subsidies paid to US cotton growers, a report suggests.
Bayer Pesticides Cause Mass Death of Bees
OCA/Coalition Against Bayer
The German Coalition against Bayer Dangers today brought a charge against Werner Wenning, chairman of the Bayer Board of Management, with the Public Prosecutor in Freiburg (south-western Germany). The group accuses Bayer of marketing dangerous pesticides and thereby accepting the mass death of bees all over the world. The Coalition introduced the charge in cooperation with German beekeepers who lost thousands of hives after poisoning by the pesticide clothianidin in May this year.
The Local Economic Impact of Wal-Mart
by Michael J. HicksBuy at Powell's * Support CEI/BEN
While there have been other books on Wal-Mart, none has provided scholarly economic analysis of the impact of this retail giant. "The Local Economic Impact of Wal-Mart" offers significant empirical evidence which highlights important questions.
Immigrants, Unions and the New U.S. Labor Market
by Immanuel NessUCS
In recent years, New Yorkers have been surprised to see workers they had taken for granted—Mexicans in greengroceries, West African supermarket deliverymen and South Asian limousine drivers—striking, picketing, and seeking support for better working conditions.
The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage
by Alexandra HarneyBuy at Powell's * Support CEI/BEN
A landmark eyewitness expos of how China's factory economy competes for Western business by selling out its workers, its environment, and its future
CUC National Committee Members Attacked by Gunfire and Kidnapped: Biofuel Agro Businesses Violently Repress Communities
NISGUA - RIghts Action
Rights Action is extremely concerned for the safety of members of the National Committee of CUC (the Campesino Unity Committee), and for the safety of members of the Maya Keqchi communities of La Isla, Caserio el Mirador Semao, Corazon de Mais, and Teleman Punto 15, all in the municipality of Panzos, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.
Report Outlines Junk Mail’s Climate Impacts
Forest Ethics
‘Junk Mail Effect’ Equals Emissions of 9 Million Cars, 7 US States Combined; NASA Scientist and Gore Advisor Hansen urges support for Do Not Mail Registry
Doha Talks Breakdown; USDA on CRP
Alan Beattie and Frances Williams reported yesterday at the Financial Times Online that, “The Doha round of global trade talks, now in its seventh year, broke up without agreement on Tuesday after nine days of tense negotiations.
Industrial Farm Animals Consume 17 Percent of Wild-Caught Fish
by Erik HoffnerOCA
Here's a guest post from Jennifer Jacquet of the Sea Around Us Project and the UBC Fisheries Centre in Vancouver, B.C.
The Supermarket Revolution Moves Into Honduras
by Dan CharlesNPR
· With food prices soaring and more people going hungry, many developing countries are trying to boost their food production. But it's not enough to grow more food; farmers also need better ways to sell it. Small farmer, meet Wal-Mart.
Shipping Costs Start to Crimp Globalization
by Larry RhoterNew York TImes Online
When Tesla Motors, a pioneer in electric-powered cars, set out to make a luxury roadster for the American market, it had the global supply chain in mind. Tesla planned to manufacture 1,000-pound battery packs in Thailand, ship them to Britain for installation, then bring the mostly assembled cars back to the United States.
Gender, Climate Change & Human Security
Commissioned by the Greek chairmanship (2007-2008) of the Human Security Network, this study explores the interlinkages between gender, climate change and human security. Authors: Irene Dankelman, Khurshid Alam, Wahida Bashar Ahmed, Yacine Diagne Gueye, Naureen Fatema and Rose Mensah-Kutin. (2008)
Penusah Tana:the forgotten struggle. A film by Hilary Chiew and Chi Too
For over 20 years, Ajang Kiew, a Penan Leader, has been setting up blockades to protect his Native Customary Rights land from the intrusion of logging companies. To his dismay, his cries and efforts have fallen on deaf ears. Now, he sets up one final struggle before oil palm and tree plantations take over for good.
Dark Side of the Tourist Boom: Cruise Ship Controversies Cross Borders
by Kent Paterson, Special to CorpWatchCorpWatch
Environmental and community activists in the Mexican Pacific resort of Zihuatanejo recently celebrated the cancellation of a cruise ship terminal that would have accommodated two thousand-foot “floating hotels” at once.
A GLS Report Back: The Crisis in Chinese Industrial Relations
Take a walk through Beijing or Shanghai or any big Chinese city and you will experience, in a very tactile way, China’s economic miracle.
Ecuador Constitutional Assembly Votes to Approve Rights of Nature In New Constitution
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
On July 7, 2008, the Ecuador Constitutional Assembly – composed of one hundred and thirty (130) delegates elected countrywide to rewrite the country’s Constitution – voted to approve articles for the new constitution recognizing rights for nature and ecosystems.
A Weeks Worth of Stories on Global Food Crisis
by Keith GoodOCA
At least 29 countries have sharply curbed food exports in recent months, to ensure that their own people have enough to eat, at affordable prices.
U.S. Government OK's Illegal Trafficking in Hazardous Electronic Waste
Basel ACtion Network
On the opening day of the 9th Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention, taking place in Bali, Indonesia, the Basel Action Network (BAN) today slammed the US Environmental Protection Agency for sponsoring and funding the development of a U.S. e-waste recycling standard that knowingly allows US "recyclers" to continue to export some lead-tin soldered circuit boards to countries that are likely to forbid their importation from the US.
As You Sow
As You Sow, Disney, McDonald’s and Other Investors Took Part in Project Kaleidoscope, Multi-Year Project to Improve Working Conditions in Corporate Supply Chains
Corporate Design
Corporation 20/20
A report that challenges conventional views.
Gaveling Down the Rabble:How "Free Trade" Is Stealing Our Democracy
by Jane Anne MorrisCIPA
In Gaveling Down the Rabble, author/activist Jane Anne Morris explores a century and a half of efforts by corporations and the courts to undermine local democracy in the United States by using a "free trade" model. It was that very nineteenth-century model that was later adopted globally by corporations to subvert local attempts at protecting the environment and citizen and worker health.
VICTORY! A Major Dent in Mountains of Waste: Best Buy Offers Free Electronics Recycling in 117 Stores After Dialogue, Agreement With As You Sow
As you Sow
U.S. consumers toss a staggering 400 million TVs, radios, computers, VCRs, MP3 players and other electronics every year. Beginning today, a unique free electronics take back pilot program that emerged from a dialogue between As You Sow and electronics retailer Best Buy aims to put a huge dent in the mountains of scrapped semiconductors, silicon, circuit boards and capacitors.
Forum on the Food Crisis, Climate Change, Agrofuels, and Food Security
Food First
The serious and urgent food and climate crises are being used by political and economic elites as opportunities to entrench corporate control of world agriculture and the ecological commons. At a time when chronic hunger, dispossession of food providers and workers, commodity and land
Senate Vote Shows Growing Support for Global Warming Legislation
Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)
48 senators voted to end a filibuster and allow a meaningful debate on the Lieberman-Warner-Boxer Climate Security Act of 2008, but there was not enough support to overcome the tactics of senate obstructionists. Despite the fact that the Senate did not move forward today, the debate demonstrated growing momentum for passing a national global warming policy, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Why bananas are a parable for our times
Below the headlines about rocketing food prices and rocking governments, there lays a largely unnoticed fact: Bananas are dying. The foodstuff, more heavily consumed even than rice or potatoes, has its own form of cancer. It is a fungus called Panama Disease, and it turns bananas brick-red and inedible.
No more bananas?
by Johann HariSeattle Pi
Below the headlines about rocketing food prices and rocking governments, there lays a largely unnoticed fact: Bananas are dying. The foodstuff, more heavily consumed even than rice or potatoes, has its own form of cancer. It is a fungus called Panama Disease, and it turns bananas brick-red and inedible.
ExxonMobil, the Supreme Court and what’s really at stake for American justice in an era of disaster
by Dr. Riki OttChelsea Green Publishing
The following is an essay from Dr. Riki Ott, author of our forthcoming book, Not One Drop: Promises, Betrayal, and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.
Grand Inga: Leaving Africans in the Dark?
International Rivers
The potential to profit from the world's largest dam project – the Grand Inga hydropower scheme, proposed for the Congo River – drew bankers, engineering firms and industrial interests to London in April 2008 to discuss financing for the $80 billion project.
Does Being Ethical Pay?
by  Remi Trudel and June CotteWall Street Journal Online
For corporations, social responsibility has become a big business. Companies spend billions of dollars doing good works -- everything from boosting diversity in their ranks to developing eco-friendly technology -- and then trumpeting those efforts to the public.
Fish Story
Food and Water Watch
After a series of safety scares about imported seafood in 2006 and 2007, U.S. consumers are recognizing that more than 80 percent, about 10.7 billion pounds of the seafood they eat, comes from outside the United States. Much of it is imported from Asia and Latin America, regions that have potentially unsafe production practices. Claiming to have discovered the solution to U.S. reliance on imported seafood, the Bush administration is promoting legislation that would allow federal ocean waters to be leased out for industrial fish farming, also known as offshore aquaculture, open water aquaculture, or open ocean aquaculture.1
by John RuggieSpecial Representative of the Secretary-General
Responding to the invitation by the Human Rights Council for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises to submit his views and recommendations for its consideration, this report presents a conceptual and policy framework to anchor the business and human rights debate, and to help guide all relevant actors. The framework comprises three core principles: the State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business; the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for more effective access to remedies. The three principles form a complementary whole in that each supports the others in achieving sustainable progress.
Global Unions Challenging Transnational Capital through Cross-Border Campaigns
by Kate Bronfenbrenner Buy at Powells / Support BEN
Bronfenbrenner (director of labor education research, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell U.) presents ten papers form the February, 2006 conference, "Global Companies--Global Unions--Global Research--Global Campaigns," which brought together representatives of labor unions, non-governmental organizations, and academia with the overall goal of strengthening labor's ability to conduct corporate research and run cross-border campaigns against transnational companies.
Turkey's Government Plans Sweeping Water Privatisation in Run-up to World Water Forum in Istanbul
by Olivier Hoedeman and Orsan Senalp Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
In March 2009 the Turkish government will host the fifth World Water Forum against a backdrop of what is probably the most sweeping water privatisation programme in the world. As well as privatizing water services, the government plans to sell of rivers and lakes. Turkish social movements, who hosted their own conference in Istanbul last month, suspect the Government is using the World Water Forum to push through this highly controversial agenda.
How to End Child Labor on West African Cocoa Farms
Corporate Watchdog Host Bill Baue interviews Verite Senior Policy Advisor Mil Niepold on Verite’s involvement in the work of the International Cocoa Verification Board (ICVB)
The Naked Employee - buy from UCS and support CEI/BEN
by Frederick S. Lane IIIUCS Labor Catalog
This is an important book for any worker or union activist who has reason to be concerned about workplace privacy issues, ranging from the monitoring of telephones and computers to the trend toward the required wearing of electronic badges that trace your every movement -- even to the point of monitoring how long you’re in the bathroom or washing your hands.
The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see.
On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film
In Justice Shift, Corporate Deals Replace Trials
by Eric LichtblauNew York Times
In 2005, federal authorities concluded that a Monsanto consultant had visited the home of an Indonesian official and, with the approval of a senior company executive, handed over an envelope stuffed with hundred-dollar bills. The money was meant as a bribe to win looser environmental regulations for Monsanto’s cotton crops, according to a court document. Monsanto was also caught concealing the bribe with fake invoices.
VICTORY! Court expert smacks Chevron with up to $16 billion
Chevron is also Accused of Lying To Shareholders Over the $16 Billion Damages Claim In Ecuador Rainforest Case By Amazon Defense Coalition
Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
by Joel SalatinBuy at Powell's Support BEN
Drawing upon 40 years' experience as an ecological farmer and marketer, Joel Salatin explains with humor and passion why Americans do not have the freedom to choose the food they purchase and eat. From child labor regulations to food inspection, bureaucrats provide themselves sole discretion over what food is available in the local marketplace.
The World Bank - Dirty linen
DENOUNCING sleaze and kickbacks has long been fashionable among the bosses of the World Bank. Back in 1996, James Wolfensohn piously vowed to root out the "cancer of corruption" and even made some modest internal efforts at reform. His successor, Paul Wolfowitz, also made the issue a priority, linking it to his goal of making aid effective. Both men genuinely tried to tackle the scourge. And yet this week saw yet another bank boss, Robert Zoellick, forced into the spotlight by yet another scandal.
We are all Chinese
by Peter BosshardSF Chronicle
China is rapidly buying up the world's resources. The new global superpower is exploring oil fields in Africa and Central Asia, drilling for gas in Burma, building hydropower dams in the Mekong region, prospecting for minerals in the Congo and cutting down forests in Indonesia.
The Cost of Power: Coal Mining and Human Rights in Colombia
by Aviva Chomsky and Orlando AcostaZnet
I’m going to talk about Drummond, because it is a North American company. It arrived in Colombia in 1987. It obtained a claim to exploit coal in a region of ten thousand hectares in the Caribbean region of Colombia. This mine is in Cesar province. In 1995, when the shaft was opened, the workers, because of the company’s pressures and violations of their rights, became unionized in order to resist. This is open-pit mine. When they took away the top layer of land to get down to where the coal is, the communities living in the areas surrounding the mine were displaced. Moreover, the water sources in those areas were removed, obstructed, so the ecosystem changed as well.
Global Politics and Institutions - A 'Utopistic' View
by Sudhir Chella RajanEconomic & Political Weekly
This paper emphasises the political and institutional dimensions of a different possible world in the future that conjoins the desires of progressive social movements everywhere and gestures thus towards a hopeful vision of new forms of collective action.[PDF]
Japan's Obstructionist Position On Illicit Trade Protocol Earns Marlboro Man Award
Corporate Accountability
Negotiations toward a protocol on illicit tobacco trade to the global tobacco treaty, formally known as the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), opened yesterday. While many countries voiced their commitment to a protocol that will require tobacco corporations to assume responsibility for their supply chains, provide financial disincentives to the illicit tobacco trade, and prevent government collaboration with the tobacco industry, Japan earned the first Marlboro Man Award of the protocol negotiations.
Rocky Shoes sweatshop abuses shed light on failed trade model amid primary contest
Sweatfree Communities
Human rights and labor organizations in Ohio today called on presidential candidates and Governor Ted Strickland to adopt "sweatfree" purchasing policies to stop tax dollar support for sweatshop abuses that have sent thousands of Ohio jobs overseas. The call comes as the groups exposed workplace abuses in a Rocky Shoes-contracted facility in China, where as many as 4000 workers went on strike last month to protest non-payment of wages.
Genetically Modified Crops (GM) increase pesticide use and fail to alleviate poverty, reveals new report
Genetically modified (GM) crops have led to a large increase in pesticide use and have failed to increase yield or tackle world hunger and poverty, a new report by Friends of the Earth and Center for Food Safety reveals today. The report coincides with the annual release of biotech industry figures on GM crop cultivation around the world.
US store chain cuts sales of food from China
US grocery chain Trader Joe's said Monday it would stop selling food imported from China due to customers' concerns about the products' safety.
Peruvian Amazonian Leader Tells Bidders Indigenous Peoples Will Oppose Drilling on their Lands
Amazon Watch
Houston – Oil company executives considering bidding for controversial concessions in the Peruvian Amazon today applauded an indigenous leader who had traveled from the rainforest to warn them not to enter community land.
The Responsibility Paradox
by Gerald F. Davis, Marina V.N. Whitman, and Mayer N. Zald Stanford Social Innovation
In Early 2007, thousands of cats and dogs in North America fell ill with kidney ailments. Many of the pets had dined chez Menu Foods Inc., a company in Ontario, Canada, that manufactures pet foods for more than 100 brands, including Procter & Gamble, Iams, Colgate-Palmolive’s Science Diet, and Wal-Mart’s Ol’ Roy. By mid-April, investigators had traced the animals’ illnesses to melamine, an industrial chemical that tainted a few of Menu Foods’ raw ingredients. They then followed the thread to two suppliers in China, which had spiked the ingredients to cut costs and boost profits.
Three Thousand Workers Strike in Jordan Sewing for Wal-Mart and Other Companies
Since Monday, December 10, 2007, three thousand foreign guest workers, 50 percent of them young women--1,500 from Sri Lanka, 900 from Bangladesh, 400 from India and 100 from Nepal - - have been on strike. At least 10 workers were beaten by the police. Before going on strike, the workers had written to the Jordanian Ministry of Labor seeking help, but received no response.
The War on Bugs
by Will AllenBuy at Powells and Support BEN
Will Allen is an organic farming visionary. A true activist, entrepreneur, and expert, he understands the complexities of farming first hand and the impact that commercialization has had.
Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture, Revised and Expanded
by Elizabeth HendersonBuy at Powells and Support CEI
To an increasing number of American families the CSA (community supported agriculture) is the answer to the globalization of our food supply. The premise is simple: create a partnership between local farmers and nearby consumers, who become members or subscribers in support of the farm. In exchange for paying in advance—at the beginning of the growing season, when the farm needs financing—CSA members receive the freshest, healthiest produce throughout the season and keep money, jobs, and farms in their own community.
If Nature Had Rights
by Cormac CullinanOrion Magazine
IT WAS THE SUDDEN RUSH of the goats’ bodies against the side of the boma that woke him. Picking up a spear and stick, the Kenyan farmer slipped out into the warm night and crept toward the pen. All he could see was the spotted, sloping hindquarters of the animal trying to force itself between the poles to get at the goats—but it was enough. He drove his spear deep into the hyena.
Chinese Christmas Ornaments Made in Sweatshop, Labor Group Says
by Mark
Christmas ornaments made in a factory in China and sold at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. were produced in sweatshop conditions, a report by a labor advocacy group said.
Green group says Wal-Mart blind to illegal logging behind its products
Associated Press
Is there a toy tiger in your baby's crib? If that crib came from Wal-Mart, an environmental group says the wood it's made from could be endangering real Siberian tigers.
U.S. Timber law clears first hurdle.
Environmental Investigatin Agency
The House Committee on Natural Resources this morning unanimously passed the bipartisan Legal Timber Protection Act (LTPA), H.R. 1497. The vote propels this landmark bill to combat the United States’ role in the global illegal logging problem one key step closer to becoming U.S. law.
Companies not doing enough to protect rights of indigenous peoples, says EIRIS
Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS) and the Centre for Australian Ethical Research (CAER) today released a joint report exploring the challenges and opportunities faced by companies operating in areas where the rights of indigenous peoples are threatened. The report also analyses the measures companies are implementing to address indigenous and land rights issues.
A Backlash for Big Retail in India
by Madhur SingTime/New Delhi
October is the beginning of India's festive season, a time when shopkeepers' profits soar amidst the gift-giving and all-round revelry tied to Hindu holidays like Dussehra and Diwali. Last week however, some 7,000 small shopkeepers, street vendors and traders shuttered their businesses to gather in the district of Azad Maidan in south Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Carrying placards saying SAVE SMALL RETAILERS, they forewent the day's earnings in order to march in protest against big national and international chain stores like Reliance Retail and Wal-Mart, who the shopowners say are threatening their livelihoods.
ADM, Bunge, Cargill: the ABCs of Rainforest Destruction
by KashaRainforest Action Network
Oct. 10th, 2007-Today, the Rainforest Action Network turned up the heat on US Agribusiness giants ADM, Bunge, and Cargill. Early this morning, when employees arrived at the Chicago Board of Trade, they were met with a massive banner, reading: “ADM, Bunge, Cargill: the ABCs of Rainforest Destruction.”
Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed
by Vandana Shiva,Michael Pollan, Carlo PetriniBuy at Powells and Support BEN
Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed lays out, in practical steps and far-reaching concepts, a program to ensure food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable. The book harvests the work and ideas produced by thousands of communities around the world. Emerging from the historic gatherings at Terra Madre, farmers, traders, and activists diagnose and offer prescriptions to reverse perhaps the worst food crisis faced in human history.
Protestors Rage Against North America Summit
Agence France Presse
A meeting of US, Canada and Mexico leaders on Monday and Tuesday has attracted “an eclectic group” of demonstrators united in opposition to further integration of North America. Hundreds of anti-globalization protestors, environmentalists, peaceniks, and civil rights groups joined to taunt Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President George W. Bush, and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon.
A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track
by Andy Stern Buy at Powells and Support BEN
As the newsmaking president of the fastest-growing, most dynamic union in America, he has led the charge for modernizing the "house of labor" — taking unions out of the past and into the twenty-first century. He has spearheaded the campaign against the "Wal-Marting" of jobs and has innovated transformative solutions to the daunting problems facing Americans, from job insecurity to runaway health care costs. In this powerful critique and call-to-arms, he offers a revelatory dissection of the gathering threats to our standard of living — threats that our politicians have failed utterly to address — and he puts forth a bold, unassailable plan for making vital reforms...
Dictionary of Globalization
by Andrew Jones Buy at Powells and Support BEN
The Dictionary of Globalization provides a critical overview of the contemporary globalization debate, bringing together all the disparate elements of a vast and ever-growing literature.Framed by a lively introductory chapter which examines the emergence and propulsion of this concept into widespread usage, the dictionary comprises an A-Z of entries covering every major aspect of the globalization debate from 9/11 to Zapatistas, the World Bank to the World Social Forum...
The New Rulers of the World
The film looks at the new rulers of the world -- the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them -- the IMF and the World Bank. Under IMF rules, millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood.
Not for Sale
Not for Sale is an engaging documentary that explores some little known aspects of global trade agreements like the WTO. Patents and other intellectual property rights are expanding what corporations can own and control -- from things like machines, to knowledge and even living creatures. What does this mean for the environment, our food supply, and human rights?
Local action: a new initiative aims to deglobalize the Bay Area's economy
by Jeff GoodmanSan Francisco Bay Guardian Online
January 3rd, 2007
"In what some experts are hailing as a first for sustainability movements in the United States, a coalition of policy organizations has unveiled a comprehensive campaign to reduce the Bay Area's reliance on global markets in favor of a more locally based economy..."
Fences & Windows
by Naomi Klein Buy at Powells and Support BEN
This is a history of the rise of the anti-globalization movement, from Seattle to September 11th, 2001. The text charts the group's most notable successes and its failures and is international in scope. It covers all aspects of the topic, social, legal, and political...
Destroy and Profit: Wars, Disasters and Corporations
Focus on the Global South
January 1st, 2006
"The essays in this volume provide a remarkable portrait of the hothouse brew of corruption, cronyism, unilateralism, neoliberal rhetoric, protectionism, and good old American nationalism that has marked the Bush administration’s approach to post-war and post-disaster reconstruction..."
Field Guide to the Global Economy
by John Cavanagh and Sarah AndersonBuy at Powells and Support BEN
May 1st, 2005
Leviathans: Multinational Corporations and the New Global History
by Alfred Dupont ChandlerBuy at Powells and Support CEI
March 1st, 2005
America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy
by Gar AlperovitzBuy at Powells and Support CEI
January 1st, 2005
The Take
by Avi Lewis & Naomi Klein
"In the wake of Argentina's dramatic economic collapse in 2001, Latin America's most prosperous middle class finds itself in a ghost town of abandoned factories and mass unemployment. The Forja auto plant lies dormant until its former employees take action. They're part of a daring new movement of workers who are occupying bankrupt businesses and creating jobs in the ruins of the failed system..."
Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is Possible
by John CavanaghBuy at Powells and Support CEI
October 1st, 2004
People Before Profit: The New Globalization In An Age of Terror, Big Money, and Economic Crisis
by Charles DerberBuy at Powells and Support CEI
November 1st, 2003
Community Redress and Multinational Enterprises
by Alice Palmer Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development
November 1st, 2003
"Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth have commissioned this paper to examine the obstacles and options for international approaches to community redress for the harmful effects of multinationals’ activities on people and the environment. Encouraged by the recent adoption by UN experts of human rights norms for business, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth are also looking beyond the social and environmental obligations that bind business to consider what can be done to guarantee communities redress when harm is done. Compared with small and medium-size enterprises, multinationals have the greatest capacity to cause harm to people and the environment on a global scale and to use political, financial and legal leverage to avoid being brought to account..."
Strangely Like War: The Global Assault on Forests
by Derrick Jensen and George DraffanBuy at Powells and Support BEN
October 1st, 2003
Insurrection: The Citizen Challenge to Corporate Power
by Kevin DanaherBuy at Powells and Support BEN
September 1st, 2003
The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
by William Grieder Buy at Powells and Support CEI
September 1st, 2003
Corporate Breakdown- The Retail Giants Global Expansion and Local Concerns
by Petra KjellNew Economics Foundation
April 2nd, 2003
"The world’s largest company by revenues is no longer an oil-company - it is a supermarket. Wal-Mart’s revenues reached $218bn in 2001, overtaking both Exxon Mobil and General Motors, and are expected to continue rising. Much has happened since the early days of the supermarket, when independent local retailers got together under control by its consumer members in the co-operative movement..."
Transnational Corporate Beneficiaries of World Bank Group Fossil Fuel Project 1992-August 2002
by Jim ValletteSustainable Energy and Economy Network a Project of the Institute for Policy Studies
September 1st, 2002
"SEEN’s ongoing study of World Bank Group financing for fossil fuels finds that the big winners of this globalization game are some of the largest transnational corporations in the world. Of the world’s ten largest corporations , five are among the WBG’s top 15 private welfare recipients. Shell, the world’s eighth biggest corporation, benefited from over $1.93 billion in World Bank projects since 1992, and ranks third among all firms. BP-Amoco and Exxon Mobil , the world’s second and fourth largest corporations, benefited from around $900 million in WBG financing a piece..."
Enron's Pawns: How Public Institutions Bankrolled Enron's Globalization Game
by Jim Vallette & Daphne WyshamSustainable Energy & Economy Network
March 22nd, 2002
"Since 1992, at least 21 agencies, representing the U.S. government, multilateral development banks, and other national governments, helped leverage Enron’s global reach by approving $7.219 billion in public financing toward 38 projects in 29 countries.1 The now-fallen giant, until recently the country’s seventh largest corporation, marched into risky projects abroad, backed by the “deep pockets” of government financing and with the firm and at times forceful assistance of U.S. officials and their counterparts in international organizations. Enron’s overseas operations rewarded shareholders temporarily but often punished the people and governments..."
Water for Sale
War on Want
February 1st, 2002
"Here in the UK we know only too well how the privatisation of essential public services has led to a deterioration of standards and attacks on worker’s pay and conditions of service.UNISON has been at the forefront in campaigning for good quality public services as our Positively Public Services campaign has shown. However it is clear that the battle for public services extends beyond these shores.The pressures to privatise essential services like water and sanitation remain considerable and show no signs of abating..."
Public Disclosure of the Sweatshop Practices of American Multinational Garment/Shoe Makers/Retailers: Impacts on Their Stock Prices
by Michael T. Rock Hood College
August 1st, 2001
"The anti-sweatshop movement burst in the American public's consciousness in the 1990s. By the late 1990s, an eclectic group of 43 American NGOs and a growing number of international organizations were engaged in the movement. But, as yet, there are no rigorous empirical studies of the impact of anti-sweatshop actions on those firms accused of relying on sweated labor. This paper addresses this lacuna by using the event study technique to empirically assess the impact of public disclosure of firms' sweatshop practices on their stock prices. The paper finds that public disclosure does indeed cause firms' stock prices to fall, sometimes substantially. This, no doubt, explains the rush by these firms to voluntary codes of conduct..."
Globalize This! The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Rule
by Kevin DanaherBuy at Powells and Support CEI
October 1st, 2000
Big Business, Poor Peoples: The Impact of Transnational Corporations on the World's Poor
by John MadeleyBuy at Powells and Support BEN
August 1st, 1999
The Case Against the Global Economy: And for a Turn Toward the Local
by Jerry ManderBuy at Powells and Support CEI
January 1st, 1997


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