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“I think it is logical, there should be a sort of parallelism. If you have benefits from all these countries you should also accept to repay in all these countries and allow jurisdiction for the victims in all those countries”, said Apollin Koagne, Senior Lawyer of the Center for the Environment and Development – Friends of the Earth Cameroon, in relation to transnational corporations and their human rights abuses.
In an interview with Real World Radio, the lawyer said that transnational corporations need to respond to their crimes in the countries of origin, but also in the countries where they operate. He explained the concept of “extraterritorial obligations”, and along these lines he questioned the classical notion of the sovereignty of States defended by the European Union so that transnational corporations are not held accountable for violations perpetrated outside their countries of origin. In this way, he defended the universal jurisdiction principle and stated that this more global view has allowed, for instance, to speak of crimes against humanity and to hold people accountable.
Koagne was part of the delegation of environmental federation Friends of the Earth International, which followed in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN negotiations on a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights violations, from October 24-29. During the official talks he made a presentation during a plenary session about the issues dealt with at this interview and he also participated in the different activities carried out in parallel by the civil society.
The Senior Lawyer of the Center for the Environment and Development – Friends of the Earth Cameroon, discussed the importance of the binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights violations, the role of African countries in the negotiations and their expectations to soon start negotiating the technical contents of the new agreement.
Imagen: Víctor Barro, Friends of the Earth International
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