PAN International organised a historic session of the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Bangalore on December 3-6, 2012, attended by hundreds of peasant farmers, agricultural workers, and activists. Witnesses from all over the world gave testimony on the human rights violations perpetrated by the agrochemical transnational corporations (TNCs). Below is a brief summary of the Tribunal’s Findings and Recommendations.
The six TNCs are responsible for gross, widespread and systematic violations of the right to health and life, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as of civil and political rights, and women and children’s rights.
The United States, Switzerland, and Germany (Home States), have demonstrably failed to comply with their internationally accepted responsibility to promote and protect human rights, especially of vulnerable populations. These three States, where the six corporations are registered and headquartered, have failed to adequately regulate, monitor and discipline these entities by national laws and policy; have unjustifiably promoted a double standard approach prohibiting the production of hazardous chemicals at home while allowing their own TNCs unrestrained license for these enterprises in other States, especially of the Global South.
Technology-importing (Host) states are responsible for not adequately protecting human rights and social movement activists from vexation and harassment; not adequately protecting independent scientists; not fully pursuing alternatives and less hazardous forms of agricultural production; and not honouring obligations from the ILO Conventions.
Some of the policies of the WHO, FAO and ILO are not fully responsive to the urgency of regulation and redress, as articulated by suffering peoples, and human rights and social movement activist groups and associations. A more proactive role is especially indicated in the field of hazardous agrochemicals and agribusiness TNCs. UNESCO ought to take expeditious and effective steps for the protection of academic and scientific freedom of researchers and specialists who raise justifiable alarm over the long term impact of pesticides.
The establishment of an appropriate international mechanism to investigate gross and flagrant violations of human rights by TNCs, host and home states: a body, before which individual or collective victims could bring their claims and demands for justice.
For national governments and states not to ratify any new trade or investment agreement proposed without regard for human rights norms. To avoid granting immunity to agrochemical companies from criminal liability under national law. To accept a less heavy burden of proof on the victims and to legislate for the precautionary principle. To prevent TNCs from directly or indirectly harassing and intimidating scientists, farmers and human rights and environmental defenders.
To amend the Rome Statute in order to extend its jurisdiction to legal persons and include the most serious crimes against the environment, in addition to those already provided for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The EU institutions to subject their international economic policy and cooperation to the international rules for the protection of human rights and the environment and to extend environmental liability to the activities of corporations with registered offices in the EU.
Click on attached file for the complete paper: