Monday, April 09, 2007

Share Power: Make Canadian companies respect human rights

I am a member of the Business and Human Rights working group of Amnesty International at the Pacific Regional office in Vancouver.

We promote respect for universal human rights standards on the part of Canadian companies. Our focus is usually on those who operate in other countries, especially those in developing countries. We engage in advocacy as well as awareness-raising and education to meet pursue this end. One of our key programs is called Share Power.

I have pasted some info from the Amnesty Canada site to explain the campaign. Tara Scurr, Business and Human Rights Camgaigner for the Pacific Region, you have the floor.

SHARE POWER is a project of Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights campaign, which harnesses the powerful connection between individuals and companies to advance corporate responsibility for human rights.

SHARE POWER shows you what you can do to hold companies accountable for human rights.

No matter who you are, where you work, or where you study, you can find your connection to powerful multinational corporations and pressure change from the inside! Share Power helps you find this connection and use it to help end corporate abuses of human rights.

All members of the public have the right to send a direct message to the CEO of any company to raise concerns about their company. This is one technique that we can all use. For Share Power to be most effective however, we will use a variety of campaigning techniques.

By approaching companies indirectly, through our connection to other people and institutions that hold shares in those companies, we have a great potential for impact. This approach to corporate change is called shareholder activism and it is a key component of the Share Power campaign.

Please visit the site today to sign the letters on-line. For more information, please go to: The companies profiled in Share Power this year are:

1. Dow Chemical (AI-USA) issue: Bhopal
2. Chevron (AI-USA) issue: Environment
3. Power Corporation issue: Human Rights in China
4. Nortel Networks issue: Human Rights in China and Iraq
5. Weyerhaeuser issue: indigenous land rights in Canada
6. Canadian Natural Resources issue: Human Rights in Gabon and Ivory Coast 7. Ivanhoe Mines (2 resolutions) issues: Human Rights in Mongolia and Environmental clean-up in Burma

There is also a letter-writing action to the Canada Pension Plan, which invests significantly in each of these companies.

Please feel welcome to contact us with questions, suggestions or comments at We’d also love to hear your own stories of your campaigning efforts!

Many thanks,
Tara Scurr
Business and Human Rights Campaigner