Masuma from Bangladesh survived the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building

Justice Campaign

Making all business fair

Traidcraft’s Justice campaign has been calling for changes in the law so that large UK companies can be prosecuted if they cause harm to people abroad.

Over the past two years, we have highlighted the fact that some irresponsible British companies are causing things like toxic pollution, serious injury 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 have taken action in support of the campaign – emailing and sending postcards, contacting their MPs, organising events, emailing the Prime Minister and collecting signatures for the Justice Matters petition.

Together we have sent a clear message to the British government: people want companies to be prosecuted for the worst abuses abroad.

Thanks to everyone who has been part of the Justice campaign!

Felix and Bertha

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.

Petition hand in

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

What has happened in the Justice campaign?

Traidcraft 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.

What's next?

While the public campaign is taking a pause, Traidcraft staff is continuing to press for change through research, briefings for policy makers, and behind-the-scenes meetings with officials. Updates and new opportunities in the campaign will be published here and on our Campaigns blog.

How can I find out more?

All news about the Justice campaign can be found on our Campaigns blog. You can also download our policy report for a more in-depth explanation of the campaign.