|For immediate release:
28th March 2000
TRIBUNAL ACCUSES FOUR MAJOR COPORATIONS OF SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal announced today that it was asking four major
corporations to show cause that they had not committed serious violations of
internationally recognized human rights and environmental standards. The
corporations are Freeport McMoRan and Rio Tinto Zinc, Monsanto, and Union Carbide.
The Tribunal reached this decision on the basis of extensive documentation
in the form of technical reports, testimony of expert witnesses, and stories of individual
victims over the last few days. In the releasing of the Tribunal's decision, Dr.
Gianni Tognoni, Secretary General of the Tribunal, emphasized that the Tribunal found
sufficient evidence to call upon the alleged violators to show cause that these violations
had not occurred. At a future Tribunal the four corporations will be invited to give
evidence in rebuttal of the allegations contained in the Tribunal's indictment.
The jury that issued the decision was composed of eight members, coming
from various countries and with different professional backgrounds, chaired by Freda
Meissner-Blau of Austria. It was assisted in its work by Dr. Jayan Nayar of the
University of Warwick Law School Coventry and Ward Morehouse of the Council on
International and Public Affairs.
The Tribunal on Global Corporations and Human Wrongs was also convened to
address a wide range of issues related to the impact of major corporations on human rights
and environmental standards. Among these issues were subversion of democratic
control by corporations and strategies of resistance to corporate wrongs.
The Tribunal encouraged a number of actions to encourage the more active
involvement of NGOs and peoples' movements in monitoring the behaviour of global
corporations and challenging corporate dominance through the strengthening peoples'
standards of legality.
For further information on the tribunal finding's contact:
Lelio Basso International Foundation
Via della Dogana Vecchia, 5
Council on International and Public Affairs
777 United Nations Plaza
New York NY 10017
Tel. +1 (212) 9729877
Fax +1 (212) 9729878
School of Law
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Tel: +44 (024) 7652 3098
Fax. +44 (024) 7652 4105
Notes for Editors:
THE PERMANENT PEOPLES' TRIBUNAL
The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT) was formed in 1979 as the successor to the
Bertrand Russell War Crimes Tribunal on Latin America. The PPT is an independent forum
that examines violations of the rights of peoples, and suggests remedies for such
violations. It is composed of over 60 members who are eminent jurists, writers,
statespeople, artists and scientists from all parts of the world (see Appendix 2).
The Tribunal submits its findings to the Secretary General of the United Nations, to other
United Nations organisations as appropriate, and to other national and international
The PPT has a long history of addressing issues relating to the injustices perpetrated
against communities both by State as well as private actors. It is motivated by a
conviction that the voices of the marginalised and the victimised should be recognised as
the authentic representations from which the legal community should stand informed of the
challenges confronting the respect and protection of human rights. Recent examples of
Tribunal hearings include cases of human rights abuses in various countries, the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank policies relating to structural adjustment,
and the Conquest of America and International Law.
The Tribunal attempts to fill gaps in international law, which it seeks to influence by
elaborating on such documents as the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples (the
Algiers Declaration), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations), the
Nuremberg principles, United Nations General Assembly resolutions on decolonization and
the new international economic order.
For full information on the Tribunal please contact the General Secretary:
Lelio Basso International Foundation
Via della Dogana Vecchia,