human rights & business (and a few other things)

Glencore in Panorama on BBC1

Last night, just like many other people as evidenced by the activity around it on Twitter, I watched Panorama on BBC1. The episode, which can still be viewed on iPlayer for those who can access it, is looking at the giant commodity company Glencore that trades huge quantities of wheat, coal and much of the world’s copper. The documentary focuses on two sites where Glencore’s subsidiaries operate: one in Colombia where it is suspected that hitmen have killed villagers to clear the way for a mining project. And one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where journalists have found children working in the mine, as well as evidence of water pollution. Glencore was quick to react and they have posted a rebuttal on their website.

It is an interesting documentary and in my opinion it is worth taking 30 minutes to watch it. That said, I personally would have liked it to focus more on the legal aspects of the company’s potential liability in human rights violations and possible legal remedies for the victims.

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