Stop Corporate Lawsuits against Human Rights
Dear Members, Partners and Friends,
We’re writing to you today to ask for your support for a new petition to stop corporations from being able to sue governments for acting in the public’s interest.
Several preferential trade agreements have given multi-national corporations the power to sue governments when they think environmental, labour, human rights, health, finance or other public interest laws will impact on their profits. These lawsuits are decided in secretive tribunals that don’t adhere to the rule of law, are convened by corporate lawyers rather than judges and can award millions or even billions of dollars of tax payer money to foreign corporations.
The threat of law suits itself is enough to stop governments from regulating in favour of human rights, environmental protection and greater equality.
Many governments agreed that ‘Investor State Dispute Settlements’ undermine the ability of governments to govern in the interests of people. In the recent ‘Financing For Development’ (FFD) negotiations governments included a clause in the outcome document regarding proper review of investor-state-dispute settlement clauses in trade and investment agreements. But that clause has since been removed. Having a review clause is not enough, but it would be a start. Developing countries stopped pushing for the clause because there’s huge resistance from developed countries where most multi-national companies are located. But there can be no ‘financing for development’ unless we change the rules that allow corporations to dictate laws and economic systems.
Governments are loosing millions of tax payer dollars to pay corporations. Egypt has been sued for raising its minimum wage, and Argentina was sued by a private water company for freezing the price of water during its economic crisis in the early 2000s which pushed many people into poverty. The government of Indonesia has been sued for up to USD$1 billion for revoking the mining license of a British mining company and the government of Australia is also being sued by the tobacco company Philip Morris for making health warnings on cigarette packets necessary.
It’s time to fight back. Please sign and share the petition.
Our goal is to gain as many signatures as possible in the next week. Please help us get this signed by as many individuals from your organisations and networks. Time is limited and we need your help to get this petition into mainstream attention.
Please share this petition widely and thank you for collaborating with APWLD to stop corporate lawsuits against human rights!