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How should Internet and Phone Companies respond in Egypt? - IHRB Commentary by Salil Tripathi, Policy Director, 01 Feb. 2011

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Good companies can do bad things

29 September 2011

The following letter was published in the The Financial Times on Thursday 29th September 2011:

London Cityscape

Sir, We welcome a call for greater corporate responsibility from a UK party leader (Miliband’s business crusade draws fire, September 28) but worry that Mr Miliband is being overly simplistic in believing that lists of “good” and “bad” companies might easily be produced even with an overhaul of corporate governance.

Company structures are value-neutral creations; it is the actions that business takes that have positive or negative impacts.

What is needed is an undertaking from current or future UK governments also to intervene when an otherwise acceptable company does a very bad thing – such as the decision by Vodafone to close its Egyptian network at the end of January this year when its customers were most at need.

John Morrison,
Executive Director,
Institute for Human Rights and Business

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