Ending corporate impunity
Ending corporate impunity

Ending corporate impunity


Why do corporations have so much power?

Of the 100 largest economic entities in the world, 69 are corporations and only 31 are countries*. The power of multinational corporations is rapidly expanding.

In their pursuit of huge profits, big business too often gets away with exploiting people and the planet. The effects can be devastating for communities around the world who are displaced to make space for new industrial projects or exploited in brutal working conditions.

While corporations operate across borders, laws are still primarily nationally based. To date, there is almost no legally binding international regulation of corporations. Nearly all attempts to hold corporations to account at an international level have been voluntary and therefore unenforceable.

One Treaty to rule them all

We need to end the asymmetry of power that allows multinational corporations to systematically, and with almost complete impunity, violate our rights to protect the commons and our environment. The rights of indigenous populations to their territories and self-determination must be respected, both for their interests and in the interest of the global climate.

We need an internationally binding instrument that would compel corporations to follow social, labour and environmental standards. Movements and organisations around the world are now cooperating to push for a UN Binding Treaty to regulate corporations and have binding rules for corporations on human rights.

* These figures have been taken from a direct comparison of the annual revenue of corporations and the annual revenue of countries. Sources: CIA World Factbook 2015 and Fortune Global 500.

Rights for people, rules for corporations