Posted by: r.m. | June 9, 2009

aH! who will be next to pay?

Amidst the results of the (s)elections in Lebanon – which could move the country further down a neoliberal economic agenda, with particular fears of accepting the destructive regulations of the World Trade Organization, amidst the results of the elections of the European Parliament, which saw a move further towards the economic right with a loss for the socialists and a gain for the fascists, this news came at a particularly good time

The oil giant Shell has agreed to pay $15.5m (£9.7m) in settlement of a legal action in which it was accused of having collaborated in the execution of the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other leaders of the Ogoni tribe of southern Nigeria.

The settlement is one of the largest payouts agreed by a multinational corporation charged with human rights violations. Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary SPDC have not conceded to or admitted any of the allegations, pleading innocent to all the civil charges.

But the scale of the payment is being seen by experts in human rights law as a step towards international businesses being made accountable for their environmental and social actions.

Human rights experts believe the settlement will have a substantial impact on other multinational corporations. DiCaprio predicted it would “encourage companies to seriously consider the social and environmental impact their operations may have on a community or face the possibility of a suit”.

Who will be next?

Here’s another lawsuit…

Six people from Texas, including some soldiers, who claim they were poisoned by toxins and emissions from burn pits at U.S. camps in Iraq and Afghanistan are suing contractors KBR and Halliburton.

The suit, moved to federal court in San Antonio from state court last week, alleges the companies operated the large war-zone pits and burned waste since 2004 that included trucks, tires, plastic water bottles, medical waste, hazardous materials, animal carcasses and even human corpses.

The suit claims burning the waste in open pits – with no safety controls – may have released toxins that harmed at least 100,000 people, including U.S. troops, contractors and civilians.”

Hey! Wait! Could the Iraqi people sue!? Those “100,000 people” include Iraqis – and not simply US occupying forces and their support system.

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Responses

  1. Even the US may be a main root to many of todays major problems, it does however portary more democracy (supposedly) than our dear arab nations. If you even slide and trip to the ground after crossing a recently mopped area with no “wet floor” sign, you can sue whomever was the reason. But, in our states, well let us get our obligatory rights first and then we can talk about compensations and settlements.
    This piece of news does give us hope for a better tomorrow whereby companies “may” plan its upcoming steps more efficiently and perhaps more civil and environmental friendly. Of course, the world would have been a much better place, if these companies would spontaneously make value of our Earth, after all, major negative impacts on our planet will have to affect them soon.


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