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Campaigners call for more control of UK companies overseas

 The Trade Justice Movement, whose members include CAFOD, the Colombans, Christian Aid and many more church groups, is campaigning for greater regulation of UK companies overseas. The movement is calling on Alun Michael MP, Industry Minister, to amend the Company Law Reform Bill to make company directors legally responsible for the impact of their businesses on people and the environment. The campaign recognises 'the positive contribution UK businesses can make to poverty reduction, through the jobs, technology and skills transferred to the countries in which they operate,' But, it says, corporate exploitation is also rife. For many poor people in developing countries life is made considerably worse by the presence of a multi national and the companies involved remain, in a large part, 'outside the law'. As company law currently stands a company headquartered in the UK cannot be held legally accountable for its activities overseas. Changes to the Company Law Reform Bill could change that. The movement is demanding t that the government: - Makes companies legally required to report on their social and environmental impacts. - Ensures directors are legally obliged to minimise any damage their company does to local communities and the environment - Enable people overseas who are harmed by the activities of a UK company are able to take action against them in a UK court. For more information on the Trade Justice Movement see: www.tjm.org.uk