The deepening of Human Rights violations in a modern context also carries the mark of business activities and the political, legal and economic arrangements that outline them. The fight for corporate accountability and the formatting of legal frameworks that make it possible, whether national or international, has been an important line of action of Justiça Global over the years.
In October 2017, Justiça Global was in Geneva for the 3rd session of the Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises (also referred to as the Working Group on Business and Human Rights). It is a central space for formatting of mandatory rules – not merely principles – that support the activities of companies and enable their international accountability for Human Rights violations they committed. The continuity of the Working Group is an agenda of broad sectors of civil society in the global South, which has historically suffered a continuous process of spoliation of rights and territories in favour of the big transnational capital.
The organization’s actions also focus on violations committed by large Brazilian companies, such as Vale and Samarco, responsible for the dreadful burst of a tailings dam in Minas Gerais in 2015. Justiça Global is part of the International Articulation of People Affected by Vale, which presented some of those violations during the company’ shareholders’ meeting, focusing also on the 20 years of the privatization of the mining company. The strategy is to buy a minimum quota of shares as a way to bring to this area of deliberation the violations caused in different parts of the country and abroad. The concern raising tactic, due to its bias of denouncing the spoliation activities to the shareholders of the miner, was dubbed “critical shareholders”.
In acting against the violations in the mining enterprise, is impossible not to emphasize the two years of rupture of the Fundão tailings dam. Again, Vale appears as a central player in the denunciations, jointly with the Anglo-Australian miner company BHP-Billiton – both owned by Samarco. To them, the misconduct of the process of responsibility and reparation ended up adding a new actor: the Renova Foundation, constituted by companies’ initiative and with the endorsement of the public power to manage the stabilization and repair of the colossal social and environmental liabilities of this disaster. Justiça Global has been involved in corporate responsibility since the inception and participated in the organization of the two-year Fundão Dam Disruption Seminar held in November at the Federal University of Espírito Santo.
The struggle against big corporate power, whether on the front line of violations or in international forums of dispute and concern raising, is a hallmark of Justiça Global’s performance in the last period.