Report praising companies on human rights criticised as 'whitewash'

21 October 2016 - 7:30am
War on Want in the news

A new report from the Charities Aid Foundation and the LSE says companies are promoting human rights but has been criticised by human rights organisations, writes Oliver Balch. War on Want in the Guardian

Thulsi Narayanasamy, Senior Programmes Officer (Asia and the Pacific) at War on Want, said:

"To suggest that corporations would stand with Civil Society Organisations  in opposition to government crackdowns demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the irreconcilable nature of the private sector’s profit motive and the social and environmental concerns of civil society.

"The idea of shared goals between corporations and groups working for justice has been used as a tool to whitewash the exploitative nature of many private sector industries, from the extractive companies through to fashion and electronics brands.

"Congratulating international garment companies for intervening to stop state repression of worker protests without mentioning that the same companies are creating the causes for the protests - resisting minimum wage increases and better factory conditions – is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate misrepresentation of the exploitative nature of these companies.

"It is not the responsibility of civil society groups to ‘motivate private sector stakeholders’ to respect human rights. We are demanding strong regulation and accountability of the private sector. Why are we providing them with a choice about whether or not to respect human rights?"

Latest news

Reaction: McDonald's called before tax committee

20 June 2018 - 2:45pm

Responding to the news that McDonald's will appear before Parliament's special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, War on Want's Senior Campaigner on economic justice, Owen Espley, says: 

Read more

Reaction: US withdrawal from UN human rights council

20 June 2018 - 12:00pm

Responding to the US withdrawal from the UN human rights council today, War on Want's senior campaigner on militarism and security Ryvka Barnard, said:

Read more

Join the conversation

would write corporate power into the rules of our society. MPs will debate it this Tuesday! Ask your to vote… https://t.co/DTszj3D8sg 12 hours 1 min ago
URGENT: is back! This Tuesday, MPs will debate CETA, which would write corporate power into the rules of our… https://t.co/jChcH5XJ0f 15 hours 25 min ago
RT : "Is Fox having trouble again seeing the line between adviser and privately-backed lobbyist?”… https://t.co/Xcq1A0mUlC 19 hours 36 min ago