The Justice Campaign

Traidcraft Exchange’s Justice Campaign called for changes in the law so that large UK companies can be prosecuted if they cause harm to people abroad.

During the campaign, we highlighted the fact that some irresponsible British companies were causing things like serious injury, toxic pollution, and even death through their operations in developing countries. Yet it’s almost impossible to hold these companies to account in the UK – denying justice to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.

Around the country, thousands of people campaigned for change – contacting their MPs, organising events, emailing the Prime Minister and collecting signatures for the Justice Matters petition.

Together, we sent a clear message to the government: British companies should be accountable for crimes abroad.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Justice campaign!

Seven-year-old Bertha from Zambia has severe breathing problems because of gas emissions from a copper smelting plant owned by a UK-listed company.

Seven-year-old Bertha from Zambia has severe breathing problems because of gas emissions from a copper smelting plant owned by a UK-listed company.

What has happened in the Justice campaign?

Traidcraft Exchange launched the Justice campaign in 2014 because we saw too many cases where UK-based companies were getting away with things in developing countries which just wouldn’t be allowed in the UK.

Campaigners in their hundreds contacted the main UK political parties and parliamentary candidates before the 2015 General Election to ask how they would ensure that victims of such abuses were able to get justice. 

In June 2015, Traidcraft campaigners and staff took to the streets of Whitehall carrying heart-shaped balloons and photographs of victims of British companies. They visited the three main government departments responsible for business and human rights and called for justice for victims.

In 2016, we targeted the Attorney General, the government’s most senior legal advisor, with a call to introduce new legislation to allow companies to be prosecuted. Thousands of campaigners sent postcards pointing out that individuals can be prosecuted for seemingly small offences, while big companies can get away – literally – with murder.

And in November 2016, Traidcraft campaigners and staff presented a petition with more than 20,000 signatures to 10, Downing Street, highlighting the need for change.

Traidcraft campaigners and staff handing in the Justice Matters petition at 10 Downing Street.

Traidcraft campaigners and staff handing in the Justice Matters petition at 10 Downing Street.

 

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