Policy and research: Private sector
CAFOD's policy and research papers examining the effect that the operations of multinational companies have on local communities.
Communities around the world are experiencing human rights abuses, environmental destruction and the impacts of climate change as a result of the operations, investments, subsidiaries and supply chains of multinational companies.
- modern slavery
- removal of communities from their lands or operations on their lands without their consent
- mass pollution and large-scale deforestation
- intimidation, abuse and killing of human rights and environmental defenders who resist the presence and operations of business
- rising sea levels as a result of fossil fuel emissions.
Many of these impacts are driven by global demand for crops, minerals and energy, which benefit companies and consumers in the UK and other richer nations, while the environmental and social costs of business are pushed down the supply chain.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the burden of risk carried by workers and communities. Because of the huge imbalance in power between communities and large companies, it’s often very difficult for those harmed to get justice for the harms they suffer.
Recent years have seen an increase of voluntary measures to address companies’ social and environmental impacts – also known as “Corporate Social Responsibility”. But they have failed to prevent harm, or dislodge a primary focus on profit and shareholder value over people and planet.