International Financing, Trade and Investment

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During Unocal's construction of an oil pipeline in Myanmar, it hired Myanmar's military for security while the pipeline was built. The villagers in the area where the pipeline was being constructed alleged the military forcefully evicted them, forced them to work on the project and raped, murdered and tortured them.

View the Resource Page on Trade, Investment, and Human Rights.  The page includes resources on the World Trade Organization, profiles of organizations working on trade and investment,  publications of organizations working on trade and investment, and additional sources of information.  

A conference call was hosted by ESCR-Net on 14 July 2005, in which 16 people from a range of human rights and trade organizations participated.  The call provided an important opportunity to: update one another on activities linking trade, finance and human rights; discuss what information/analysis/communication resources would be useful for human rights groups to be able to work more effectively on trade and finance-related issues and for trade and finance groups to better understand the human rights framework and linkages; outline strategic opportunities to make contributions (such as the July General Council, MDGs, Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, and the annual meetings of the IMF/Bank from Sept 24-25); and make proposals for next steps.

The goal of this workshop was to understand how to use a human rights approach in addressing the WTO and trade liberalization and how to use a HR approach to transform what happens in organizations like the World Bank.  Because of time, this workshop focused on the WTO.   The workshop discussed...

A petition was filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the State of Brazil and in favor of the Yanomami indigenous community.

Neuquén Province's Official Defender of Minors filed an amparo action to protect the health of children and youth in the indigenous Mapuche community of Paynemil, because they had been exposed to water contaminated with lead and mercury. The applicant requested that the State be ordered to provide enough drinking water to ensure the survival of the affected community, to conduct the diagnosis and treatment of affected minors, and to adopt adequate measures to prevent future soil and water contamination.

Several organizations of users and consumers, and human rights organizations submitted to International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) a “Petition for Transparency and Public Participation as Amicus Curiae,” within the framework of proceedings started by Aguas Argentinas, Suez and Vivendi. These companies demanded from the State of Argentina an indemnification for damages caused upon their investments as a result of the public utility rates freeze following Argentina's abandonment in 2001 of the system that pegged its currency to the dollar.