Remedy

Five Years On - Nityanand Jayaraman on Activism and the Struggle for Justice in India

16 June 2016

On June 16th 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. The Guiding Principles were unprecedented on many levels, including by reaffirming and clarifying state duties to protect against abuses involving business and by authoritatively setting out for the first time the human rights responsibilities of all companies. 

Five years on, IHRB reflects on the state of business and human rights, through a series of podcasts and commentaries.

Nityanand Jayaraman is based in Chennai, India, where he is a writer and social activist. He teaches environmental journalism at the Asian College of Journalism. He is part of an anti-corporate collective called Vettiver Koottamaippu, and involves himself in mobilising youth to lend solidarity to social and environmental justice struggles around the country. He is an active volunteer in the campaign for justice in Bhopal and Kodaikanal, and is also supporting communities fighting environmental degradation, corporate crime and destructive land-use change in several parts of Tamil Nadu.

In a conversation with IHRB's Salil Tripathi, he talks about the struggle for justice from mercury contamination near a former thrermometer factory in Kodaikanal, India, culminating with Hindustan Unilever, the Indian subsidiary of Unilever, agreeing to take remedial steps. He also talks about the long campaign for justice following the Bhopal gas disaster of 1984, when a gas leak from a pestcide plant killed more than 2,000 people immediately and many more in subsequent years. A firm believer in the need for a comprehensive treaty to deal with corporate malpractices, Nityanand Jayaraman stresses that companies need to do much more than pledging adherence to UN Guiding Principles, if they wish to make their commitment to respecting human rights real. 

Download Filetype: MP3 - Size: 17.98MB - Duration: 15:43 m (160 kbps 44100 Hz)

Latest IHRB Publications

Mapping the Sport, Development, and Peace Agenda - Where are Human Rights?

Can sport and physical activity be a useful tool in promoting tolerance and respect as well as a central element in strategies to achieve better health, education and social inclusion?

On 6 April each year, including today, the International Day of...

06 April 2017

Commentary by Guido Battaglia, Researcher, IHRB

Killing Investigators Blinds Us All

For those who follow the news, the horrors that people suffer in war seem more visible now than ever before. Yet, there are moments when the hidden contours of war’s violence are driven home to us through the sacrifice of outsiders.

There are...

John Locke and Brexit - What will Happen to the UK’s Greatest Ever Export?

Today, the UK Government has triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which formally begins the process of disentangling the UK from a body that Churchill himself helped inspire. Whatever the rights and the wrongs of the decision, it is...

29 March 2017

Commentary by John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB