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Corporations and human rights

Much power and little sense of responsibility

Multinational companies have become central players in the global power structure. Corporate profits in sectors such as raw materials, textiles or agrochemicals exceed the amount of development aid money flowing into the respective countries. At the same time, the activities of the multinationals destroy the achievements of civil society.

Girl stirs her hand in a broth of liquid mercury and other chemicals to wash out the gold.
The responsibility of multinational companies must not stop at national borders.

Multinational corporations benefit worldwide from globalization. While they increase their profits through cross-border flows of money, goods and communication, the perception of transnational responsibility often leaves much to be desired. Profit maximisation often goes hand in hand with disregard for children's and young people's rights and environmental destruction. The activities of large companies can undermine positive developments that have reached local civil society and development organisations such as terre des hommes schweiz.

Switzerland has a special responsibility
Cases of massive misconduct on the part of corporate groups have led to more pressure on companies in recent years. As the location of numerous multinational companies, Switzerland has a special responsibility in this respect.

Active for sustainable and social business practices
For this reason, terre des hommes switzerland is campaigning in various ways to ensure that multinational corporations all over the world respect human rights and comply with environmental standards. In Western Sahara, terre des hommes schweiz is campaigning against the illegal exploitation of resources by the occupying power and foreign companies. With its membership of Ethos, the foundation for the promotion of sustainable investment, terre des hommes schweiz underlines the demand that companies should orient their business practices in a sustainable and socially acceptable way.

Western Sahara: The responsibility of international companies

A dredger unloads phosphate in the harbour.

Western Sahara is rich in resources. But the exploitation of these resources is contrary to international law. This requires the consent of the population, which has never taken place.

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