activism

Let’s Talk About Taxation!

A Night Out Collecting Signatures Against Tax Evasion

By Theresa

On Monday, 27 March 2017, I volunteered as part of a ten-people group to collect signatures against tax evasion at a concert in Berlin. This post gives a short introduction to the human rights issues arising from tax evasion mixed with a personal account of the evening.

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© European Commission

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Happy Birthday to the UNGPs – Happy Anniversary to Us All!

Celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the current global framework to render states and companies responsible

By Theresa

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On November 5th, 2015, Brazilians have been victims of the worst environmental crime in the country’s history with the collapse of the mining dam operated by Vale/Samarco/BHP. Photo courtesy of the Treaty Alliance initiative

The 5-year anniversary of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) took place on Thursday, 16 June 2016. Anniversaries on the level of the United Nations usually give rise to self-congratulating speeches by politicians and press releases listing demands from civil society organisations. Anniversaries also come very handy for drawing attention to a topic among those who do not yet know about it. This is what this post sets out to do: after a brief introduction to the UNGPs, we benefit from a speech by David Pitt-Watson to ascertain why the potential impact of the UNGPs is so great. The post concludes with an overview over challenges and achievements of the UNGPs during the last 5 years. (more…)

Creating An Alternative World By Buying Fair Trade

By Theresa

The introductory post on our Alternative World section already recommended buying fair trade products as one of many potential actions for a people-and-planet-friendly lifestyle. In today’s world most of us are consumers – and can take influence by making informed choices about our consumption. This post presents you to the idea of fair trade and tries to share a glimpse of the movement behind it. (more…)

To the core of Business and Human Rights: TTIP – and other mega trade deals

by Theresa

“We don’t want a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots. We don’t want an international order akin to post-democracy or post-law.”

With these words the UK newspaper The Guardian quotes Mr. Alfred de Zayas in its article published on 4 May, 2015. Mr. de Zayas was talking about the dangers of mega trade deals, specifically about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which is currently negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA). Mr. de Zayas is not only a concerned citizen, but he spoke in his role as the United Nations’ Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order. Since May 2012, he researches on how democracy and equality between states can be furthered and reports to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations – the council where state representatives discuss human rights issues. Now, he has come to the conclusion that secretly negotiated trade deals threaten human rights. (more…)