Holding Corporations to Account for their Failure to Exercise Human Rights Due Diligence: Experiences in Transnational Litigation
3 December 2013, 14.00-15.00h, UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Geneva - Room XXII E
Bread for the World, Misereor, ECCHR, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
The UN Guiding Principles expect business enterprises to exercise human rights due diligence. Even though the guiding principles themselves are not legally binding, neglect of this corporate responsibility often constitutes a breach of national law. Based on a wide experience in home and host state litigation, the speakers will outline how companies involved in human rights abuses can be made liable under national law and where there are still major challenges in this area. A closer look at concrete cases will help to understand the specific challenges in transnational litigation and demonstrate the impact of such litigation for victims and their communities.
11 September 1973: Military Coup in Chile
Crimes, Resistance and Legal Intervention
On 11 September 1973 the democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende was ousted in a Chilean military coup led by junta leader Augusto Pinochet. This marked the beginning of the bloodiest military dictatorship – alongside with the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983) – in Latin American history, during which thousands of people were murdered, tortured and kidnapped. Yet even through the years of greatest repression, left-wing parties and the inhabitants of Chile’s shanty towns continued to organize resistance against the regime. After a successful campaign by his opponents, Pinochet met his downfall in a referendum held in 1988, formally marking the end of his dictatorship. But even after the elections in 1989, Pinochet remained the dominant figure in Chilean political life. This changed only much later on when, on 16 October 1998, Pinochet was arrested in London.
On the 40th anniversary of the Chilean military coup and to mark the 15th anniversary of Pinochet’s arrest in London, we are hosting a series of events to explore what impact these historic moments had on the global human rights movement. How have these events inspired similar actions in the global struggle for social justice? What effects do they still have today on legal interventions? Is the growing importance of the human rights movement – as Samuel Moyn puts forward in the book ‘The Last Utopia’ – indeed a reaction to the devastating defeat suffered by various left-wing political projects? Legal steps taken in the aftermath of the military dictatorships in Argentina and Chile led to hundreds of court proceedings being carried out in those countries, experiences which serve to demonstrate how a transnationally active human rights movement can successfully rally against impunity.
We plan to discuss these issues with those who were directly involved in the events as well as with lawyers, activists, artists and historians and to learn about their personal experiences. Additionally, we hope that the combination of historical perspective, political and legal analysis and artistic interventions will inspire new visions for contemporary human rights work.
All events take place at ECCHR, Zossener Str. 55-58, Entrance D, 5th floor, 10961 Berlin.
Exception: The event on 30 September 2013 takes place at the Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus, Room 311, Niederkirchnerstraße 5, 10117 Berlin.
11 September 2013, 19.00, ECCHR-Office
Resistance in Chile, book launch and vernissage of the photo exhibition “Impressions of a Dictatorship”
18 September 2013, 19.00, ECCHR-Office
Germany and the Chilean Military Dictatorship – the Colonia Dignidad, panel discussion
30 September 2013, 19.00, Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus
The ‘Pinochet Effect’– the Impact of Transnational Legal Action, panel discussion
16 October 2013, 19.00, ECCHR-Office
Mercedes Benz Argentina. A Company and its Responsibility, Film screening and discussion
6 November 2013, 19.00, ECCHR-Office
This event will take place at another date! We will inform you soon!
Corporations and their Legal Responsibility for the Crimes of the Dictatorship in Argentina, panel discussion
16 November 2013, 19.00, ECCHR-Office
Please register at email@example.com
This series of events has been made possible through the financial support of the