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Ethecon awards 2014/2015 – Black Planet Award denounces the chairman of the board Andrew Liveris and board member James Ringler and the major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL

The follow Press Release appears in: Englishespañol,  deutsch  and français.

ethecon honours the Sudan activist Tomo Križnar and shames the manager and major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL / Public ceremony of awarding the ethecon awards and presentation „Stop FRONTEX!“

On occasion of the International Day of Peace on September 21st, 2015, ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economy announces the recipients’ names of the two familiar ethecon awards 2014/2015.

The International ethecon Blue Planet Award honours the efforts of Slovenian activist for human rights and peace Tomo Križnar, the International ethecon Black Planet Award denounces the chairman of the board Andrew Liveris and board member James Ringler and the major shareholders of the chemicals group DOW CHEMICAL (USA).

The awards ceremony will take place November 21st in Berlin’s “Pfefferwerk”.

Over many years Tomo Križnar has been working in Sudan at the risk of jeopardising his own life between the fronts of the raging war, and he stands up for sustainable peace. The board members and major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL are, among others, responsible for 30 years continuing of the impacts of the greatest chemical disaster in the history of industries in Bhopal/India.

Mia Farrow said about Tomo Križnar: „‘There is no one remotely like Tomo Kriznar. Over decades, with singular courage and conviction he has journeyed through the most remote and perilous parts of Darfur and Southern Sudan documenting atrocities, taking photographs and compiling information that is as invaluable as his humanitarian endeavours.’ “

It is more different when looking at the board members Andrew Liveris and James Ringler as well as the major shareholders of the chemicals group DOW CHEMICAL (USA). The justification Black Planet Award 2014/2015 they say: „No matter, if party contributions during election campaigns, tax evasion, environmental destruction, from support of genetic engineering to radioactive contamination, manipulated measurements, war mongering, price manipulation, corruption – DOW CHEMICAL is involved in countless crimes against humans and environment. The company’s president and chairman of the board and supervisory board Andrew Liveris, the member of the board and audit committee James M. Ringler as well as the group’s major shareholders are the ones that need to be held responsible for the decisions and actions at DOW CHEMICAL (USA). They own the group. They run the company. They are acting to increase their personal power and private wealth. To this end, they ride roughshod over morality and ethics and hazard our planet being turned into a Black Planet.“ (Justification International ethecon Black Planet Award 2014/15 from 21/09/2015)

With the decision of shaming the board members Andrew Liveris and James Ringler as well as the major shareholders of DOW Chemical, ethecon’s curatorship and board are explicitly referring to the proposal for a human rights charter “Health, Safety and Environmental Rights of Workers and Communities” passed in 1994 by Permant Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT), and the United Nations’ human rights charter,

The International ethecon Awards will take place during a public ceremony. The honorific speech for Tomo Križnar will be delivered by Alfred Buss, Amnesty International, coordinator Sudan/Southern Sudan, the shaming speech for the board members and major shareholders of DOW CHEMICAL will be delivered by Indian doctor Dr Mali Muttanna Mallappa of Sambhavna Trust Clinic/ Bhopal.

The ceremony will be framed into the ethecon congress about the latest topic „Stop FRONTEX – fight refugee causes and not refugees!”. The presentation will be done by a famous representative of ProAsyl.

The ethecon congress including the ceremony of the ethecon Awards will take place:

Saturday, 21/11/2015
“Pfefferwerk” on Pfefferberg
(Schönhauser Allee 176)
Starting at 14.00 pm (entrance at 13 pm)
Attendance at the congress is free, but notifiable
info@ethecon.org
Further information
at www.ethecon.org .

Both positive and negative awards have been awarded since 2006. Awarded annually, the International ethecon Blue Planet Award honours outstanding efforts for the preservation and rescue of our Blue Planet. The International ethecon Black Planet Award denounces people who bear responsibility for the shocking ruin and destruction of the earth and thus have created risk of a Black Planet.

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Over the past years, the International ethecon Blue Planet Award has gone to Diane Wilson/USA (2006), Vandana Shiva/India (2007), José Abreu and Hugo Chávez/Venezuela (2008), Uri Avnery/Israel (2009), Elias Bierdel/Austria (2010), Angela Davis/USA (2011), Jean Ziegler/Switzerland (2012) and Esther Bejarano/Germany (2013). By receiving the International ethecon Black Planet Award, on the other hand, managers and major shareholders of the following groups have been shamed: MONSANTO/USA (2006), NESTLÉ/Switzerland (2007), BLACKWATER (XE)/USA (2008), Formosa Plastics Group/Taiwan (2009), BP/UK (2010), TEPCO/Japan (2011), GLENCORE/Switzerland (2012) and DEUTSCHE BANK/Germany (2013).

Unlike many foundations funded by a certain company, family, church, political party or state, ethecon is one of the few “bottom-up” foundations, currently supported by 39 donors and committed to future generations by campaigning “for a world free from exploitation and repression!” Our young foundation depends on donations and support through members.

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For further information, please contact:
Tanja Brouwers
Fon: +49 (0)211 – 22 95 09 21
e-Mail: tb@ethecon.org

_______

ethecon
Foundation Ethics & Economy

Board

Schweidnitzer Str. 41
D-40231 Düsseldorf
Germany
Fon +49 – (0)211 – 26 11 210
e-Mail: aks@ethecon.org
Internet: www.ethecon.org

Only if we develop and implement environmentally friendly and humane economic and societal models can we ward off the threat of ecological and social disasters. ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economy takes the long, inter-generational view and campaigns with vision and perspective.

Donations to:

EthikBank
BIC   GENODEF1ETK
IBAN DE 58 830 944 95 000 30 45 536

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Special Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain Screening in NYC

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain image
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain
, one of the first films to depict the night of the disaster, will be screened in NYC on September 18th. It is a moving story that details the lives of those impacted by Union Carbide’s negligence. Representatives of ICJB from India, the UK and North America will be in attendance at this event, as well as Martin Sheen, one of the stars of the film. Click here to view the film trailer.

Only 100 people can attend this event so RSVP now!

Continue reading Special Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain Screening in NYC

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For World Water Day, ICJB Asks UNEP to Take Action on Ongoing Soil & Ground Water Contamination

 

ICJB photo
ICJB photo
To

Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Michel Jarraud, Chair of United Nations Water (UN-Water)
Georg Kell, Executive Director, Global Compact
Robert Skinner, Associate Director, The United Nations Foundation, New York 

cc: Gavin Power, Deputy Director/Issue Management – CEO Water mandate, Global Compact
Lila Karbassi, Issue Management – Environment, Global Compact
Alex Stein, Managing Director, Foundation for the Global compact
Anita Househam, Issue Management – Supply chain sustainability, Global Compact
Blanca Jiménez Cisneros, Vice-Chair of United Nations Water (UN-Water)
Ndey Isatou Njie, Secretary of United Nations Water (UN-Water)

March 22, 2014

On the occasion of World Water Day, the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) commends UN Water’s efforts to draw attention to the limited supply of freshwater in developing and emerging economies and its focus on “the bottom billion”. In this regard, we wish to bring to your notice the double standards of the Dow Chemical Company, which claims to be involved in global water sustainability, but refuses to clean-up the environmental pollution – and subsequent groundwater contamination – in Bhopal, India caused by the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster, which took the lives of approximately 7,000 people within the first week. This disaster has resulted in 25,000 deaths to date, and chronic health problems amongst almost 150,000 people. Widespread soil and groundwater contamination, which stems from recklessly dumped hazardous waste, endangers the health of 50,000 residents in 22 communities up to three kilometers away from the now-abandoned factory site. It is UCCs hazardous design of their Bhopal-plant, including its waste-disposal system, that led to this tragedy and the subsequent soil and groundwater contamination. Despite a 1989 private investigation by UCC-affiliated scientists that found 100% fish mortality, UCC and now, Dow Chemical, continues to deny their involvement in groundwater contamination in Bhopal.

Decades of consuming contaminated groundwater has led to a number of health issues in the affected communities, including headaches, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and skin rashes, as well as a rise in birth deformities. This is in addition to the health problems present amongst those that were exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) in the Bhopal gas disaster, which include sickness in respiratory, ocular, neurological, neuromuscular, gynecological, reproductive and endocrine systems.

Now, as a result of a directive from the Indian Supreme Court and a lengthy struggle by survivor groups, the state government of Madhya Pradesh has started supplying clean piped water to residents of the 22 water-affected communities. However, these measures only provide temporary relief. Approximately 10,000 metric tonnes of hazardous waste from UCC’s abandoned factory continues to pollute the soil/groundwater, and is spreading beyond these 22 communities. These toxins will continue to impact more and more communities in Bhopal, until the site is remediated.

Despite claims on its website, of “promoting sustainable water use policies and practices … [and] calling for greater collaboration between government, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to help solve the global water crisis”, Dow Chemical has refused to address environmental pollution and subsequent groundwater contamination in Bhopal, India. In fact, Dow Chemical has a lengthy history of denying and refusing to remediate sites of environmental pollution that they have caused. This includes dioxin contamination of the Tittabawase in Midland MI, as well as Agent Orange use in the Vietnam War, which has led to soil/groundwater contamination, in addition to cancers, reproductive health problems and a host of other medical issues amongst those exposed. 

In effect, we reiterate the demand made in our previous letter that Dow Chemical’s membership in the United Nations Foundation be terminated, and that a commitment to the Precautionary Principle, the Polluter Pays Principle and Communities’ Right to Know be a requirement for membership in the United Nations Foundation. We also ask that UNEP, with support from the Government of India and UN Water, undertake a comprehensive scientific assessment of the depth and spread of the contaminants in and around the factory in order to develop a site remediation plan.

On behalf of The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America (ICJB-NA),

Reena Shadaan
Community Relations Officer,
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America
reena.shadaan (at) icjb.org

Renu Pariyadath
Member – Community Relations Working Group,
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America
renu.pariyadath (at) gmail.com

Photo Credit: Jack Laurenson

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Letter: ICJB to United Nations Women – Address Violence Against Women in Ongoing Bhopal Disaster

To: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, United Nations Women

cc: Chris Whatley, Executive Director, United Nations Association-USA, New York Robert Skinner, Associate Director, The United Nations Foundation, New York

 March 8, 2014

 On the occasion of International Women’s Day, and in light of the MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs), which emphasize the importance of improving maternal/reproductive health, The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) wishes to draw your attention to the ongoing plight of women impacted by the Bhopal gas disaster. December 3, 2014 will mark 30 years of the Bhopal gas disaster and an extraordinary struggle for justice led by ordinary Bhopali woman. Noting that people everywhere are susceptible to the contamination of their bodies and environment by toxins, these women have called for an end to Bhopal-like disasters worldwide.

On behalf of the women of Bhopal, we urge all relevant agencies of the United Nations to heed the SHE imperative and intervene in the resolution of the humanitarian crisis in Bhopal, India, that has been neglected by both the Indian government and the Union Carbide Corporation (now owned by The Dow Chemical Company). ‘The World’s Worst Industrial Disaster’, the gas leak in Bhopal took the lives of approximately 7,000 people within the first week, and has resulted in 25,000 deaths to date. Over half a million people continue to suffer chronic health issues, as well as the debilitating effects of groundwater and soil contamination from Union Carbide’s abandoned pesticide factory.

In advocating for a much-needed corrective to the MDGs, United Nations Women (UN Women) have sought to address violence against women in its many forms such as sexual assault, femicide, trafficking and the suppression of reproductive rights. Poor women in many parts of the world have been demanding that governments and non-state actors stop the violence unleashed on their living and working environments. This is also violence against women. Toxic environments disproportionately affect women’s reproductive health and fetal development. In Bhopal too, reproductive health problems were identified soon after the disaster. A study carried out by Medico Friend Circle (1985) found that in J.P. Nagar (one of the most severely affected communities), “[w]omen in the reproductive age group reported menstrual irregularities such as shortened menstrual cycles, altered pattern of discharge”. Moreover, “nearly half of the nursing mothers in J.P. Nagar reported a decrease or complete failure of lactation.” Nine months after the disaster, Varma (1987) found that of “the 3270 families surveyed [in the communities adjacent to the plant], 865 women reported that they were pregnant at the time of the accident; 43.8% of these pregnancies did not lead to the birth of a live baby. Of the 486 live births, 14.2% of infants died within 30 days.

Two decades after the disaster, studies found that gas-affected women and their female children were commonly experiencing menstrual abnormalities, including “chaotic” menstruation, leucorrhoea and premature menopause. In addition, significantly higher rates of developmental disabilities and birth defects have been found amongst children born to exposed parents and/or living in the communities facing groundwater contamination. These health impacts from the disaster have also had social implications for gas-exposed women. Many refuse to marry from gas-affected communities citing the inability of women to bear healthy children and the financial liability they might pose due to the high incidence of chronic illnesses in the area. Furthermore, research on the impact of the disaster on women’s reproductive health has been severely lacking. As a result, the women of Bhopal are doubly burdened, receiving largely symptomatic and temporary treatment for their health problems.

Our previous letter outlined several ways in which the UN can be involved. In addition to these, we urge UN Women, The United Nations Association USA and The UN Foundation to respond to the SHE imperative and work to address the exclusion of environment-related reproductive health issues from the UN’s definition of violence against women and girls. In particular, we urge UN Women and The World Health Organization (WHO) to commission studies on the effects of toxic exposure on Bhopali women’s reproductive health and also call on the Government of India and The Dow Chemical company to commit to Bhopal’s SHE imperative.

On behalf of The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America (ICJB-NA),

Reena Shadaan

Community Relations Officer,

International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America

reena.shadaan[at]icjb.org

Renu Pariyadath

Member – Community Relations Working Group,

International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America

renu.pariyadath[at]gmail.com

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@UN_Women
Help end the reproductive health nightmare in Bhopal, India.
#NoMoreBhopals

Photo Credit: Giles Clarke, Reportage by Getty
http://www.gilesnclarke.com/

 

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United Nations Campaign Launch

On the occasion of the United Nations Social Justice Day (February 20th), ICJB has launched our United Nations Campaign. The Bhopal gas disaster has reached its 30th year, and has gotten significantly worse for the affected communities.                  

We ask:

(1) Why has the United Nations been silent on the ongoing plight of the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster?

(2) Why has it chosen to partner with the Dow Chemical Company, which in purchasing the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), has inherited the legal liabilities of the Bhopal gas disaster?

Finally, we ask that UN agencies be involved in easing the plight of survivors, and specifically, we seek technical assistance from UNEP for the scientific assessment of the contamination of soil and groundwater in and around Union Carbide’s abandoned factory in Bhopal, India.

Friends of ICJB delivered a letter (read here) on February 20th to the United Nations headquarters in New Delhi and New York. We invite you to join our campaign by asking the United Nations (via twitter, facebook, e-mail) to take action on the Bhopal gas disaster. 

Read Press Statement. Read Digital Journal’s Article on ICJB’s UN Campaign Launch.

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