Large corporations in the world indulge in many human rights and environmental violations, but it is quite difficult to make them accountable. They are interested only in increasing profits, without considering the effect that it might have on the environment. There is an increasing awareness among people about multinationals who have been perpetrating human rights and environmental abuse for years. Here’s a list of some of the biggest and popular companies in the world which need to answer for their actions:
8 – Popular companies which have a terrible reputation
One of the biggest multinational corporations in the world, Chevron is also one of the worst environmental polluters in the world. It’s refinery in California’s Richmond processes 350,000 oil barrels every day. The toxic waste and oil flares have caused many health problems in Richmond, including lupus, rheumatic fever, kidney and liver problems, tumors, asthma, eye problems, cancer and so on.
Texaco, a company which Chevron bought in 2001, unleashed a poisonous ‘Chernobyl’ in the Amazonian rainforests as it dumped 18 billions of toxic waste into the river water, which locals used as bathing water. As a result, local people suffered from severe medical problems such as cancer, spontaneous abortions and birth defects.
2. Shell oil
Shell oil is one of the popular companies in the world, which unfortunately might have also participated in one of the world’s worst genocides. The company wanted to drill for oil on land where the Ogoni tribe of Nigeria live. The tribe has been persecuted brutally by the Nigerian government, and in the 90s, their peaceful protests were put down so violently that the Ogonis have termed it as genocide. In 2009, Shell Oil was proved to be one of the worst corporate evildoers in history. They were sued by the Ogoni people, and they settled out of court. But, documents leaked to the media, revealed that Shell paid huge amounts to the Nigerian military to violently put down the Ogonis.
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Cluster bombs are horrible examples of modern weaponry which displays the evil minds of weapons makers. Cluster bombs explode into several tiny bombs in warzones. Many of these bombs fail to detonate during wartime and remain dormant for years. They explode when some innocent person or farmers stumbles on them. Studies have revealed that civilians are the major casualty, and a third of these are children.
These cluster bombs are now illegal according to the Geneva convention, but surprisingly, British banks are investing heavily in their manufacturing. Banks like RBS, HSBC and Lloyds and others had to back out after a big scandal, but some other banks are still continuing to fund bomb makers. UK banks therefore fall in our list of corporate evildoers who need to be exposed.
Caterpillar is the company responsible for providing Israel with the bulldozers the country uses to demolish Palestinian homes. It refuses to stop the sales of its modified D9, D10 bulldozers to Israeli military. Caterpillar’s bulldozers have razed down Palestinian homes, sometimes with people inside them! Caterpillar, thus is party to Israel’s human rights violations.
Coca-Cola is definitely one of the most popular companies today. The beverage can be found anywhere and everywhere in the world. The company also leads in worker rights abuse, worker discrimination, assassinations and water privatization. Between 1989-2002, 8 of its union rights leaders were killed after they protested Coca-Cola’s labor practices. Hundreds of its workers who wanted to join the union Sinaltrainal (Columbian), were tortured, kidnapped by paramilitaries who wanted them to change their minds about joining an union.
In India, the company has destroyed local agriculture by privatizing water resource. The company extracted 1.5 million liters of well water, leaving the area extremely short of water and causing water shortage. The rest of the water was contaminated by bacteria and chloride, leading to eye problems, scabs and stomach aches in the local people.
Adding further to the crimes of perhaps the world’s most popular companies, Coca-Cola is perhaps the most racially discriminatory companies of the world. In 2000, two thousand African American companies sued Coca-Cola for difference in promotions and pay due to race.
6. Dow Chemical
Dow Chemical has poisoned Earth for many years. The company caused health damage to millions of US Veterans and Vietnamese due to its Agent Orange, which was used in the Vietnam War. It was Dow who developed the dreaded chemical weapon Napalm.
In 2001, it acquired Union Carbide Corporation, the company which had a chemical leak in Bhopal, which killed thousands and maimed and injured millions. Dow refuses to pay the minimal damages after taking over UCC. The company, therefore, which is a billion dollar company has no sense of empathy and is responsible for all kinds of human rights violations throughout the years.
7. HSBC intentionally laundered terrorist money
The brutality of Mexican drug cartels is well-known. These cartels do not think twice before massacring complete towns, decapitating them and torturing them beyond belief. Incredibly, the HSBC bank agreed to open their account and help them legalize the blood money. This basically financed the destruction of villages and reducing Mexico to civil war. It was also revealed that HSBC bank funded middle-eastern terrorists too.
One of the popular companies for genetically engineered seeds, the company has also the least sense of honesty. Its herbicide which is called Roundup (glyphosate), is sold as pesticide and harms the soil making it toxic. Plants become infertile, and farmers have to buy only Monsanto seeds and pesticide, creating a dependence on Monsanto. And that’s not all – the company’s Roundup Ultra which is exorbitantly expensive, is documented to cause cancer, skin disorder premature births, spontaneous abortions and nervous and gastrointestinal systems.
These are not all. There are many other companies like Nestle who lose their shine when we get to know how they use forced child labor, including buying children as slaves. To protest against them the best thing that we can do is by not using their products.