HARVEY: The global march against child labor was born in
a conversation that I had with Kailash Satyarthi– the very
charismatic leader of the move to bring children out of
bonded labor in India– the head of the South Asian
KAILASH: We have ample proof that the children are
being used as slaves. They are bought and sold. They are
tortured. They are confined to workplace. They are not
HARVEY: These are kids working in brick kilns, working
in farms as a part of bonded farm labor, working in granite
quarries; kids in sexual slavery, or being trafficked across
national or state boundaries for sexual purposes.
the kinds of kids that this global march is an effort to
HARVEY: So we decided that the global march was a way
by which we could bring international pressure to country
This was not just a simple protest. Along the way,
organizers met with community groups like this one to
try to link local concerns with the March’s broader
goals, which resonate with people in Thailand.
still reeling from the collapse of their currency.
SULAK: Economic growth must take human dignity, human
rights, environmental balance, into consideration.
In the wake of Thailand’s financial crisis, Buddhist
Scholar Sulok Sivaraksa, like many activists, sees
growing poverty in human rights terms.
SULAK: We have more prostitutes than monks. We have
child laborers. We destroy our environment. The people in
Bangkok itself, 20% live in slums. And many people don’t
even live in the slums, they live under the bridges and so on
and so forth. And yet people feel these are not human rights
The Global March is just one new cross-border
tactic–an illustration of how globalization from above
leads to a globalized resistance from below.
KAILASH: But in the case of children, in the case of poor
people, they have no calculations of their profit margins.
They always think of their compassion, their love, sharings,
taking care of each other. So that is the real globalization.
So I believe that we have to learn from those children how
Whether we learn from innocent children, worldly
business leaders, or concerned human rights activists,
one thing is clear, globalization is here to stay. In a
world that is becoming more connected and
interdependent, a curious collection of politically
strange bedfellows has begun to coalesce in a search
for solutions to complex global challenges. In the
process, they are discovering some surprising things
about this world– and about themselves. Amnesty
PIERRE SANE: We do not expect business to become a
human rights defender. We know that if business adopts a
human rights language and behavior, it will be as a means to
the long-term objective of securing greater and greater
profits. For us, human rights is an end, it’s an absolute. So
there is a journey that we can go together. There is some
tactical alliances that we can develop.
GOULDING: It’s perfectly possible to have a two-track
approach to this where some people very properly focus on
the business engagement issues and others focus on the
Many companies in the global marketplace are trying
to become what they call global corporate citizens, and
some even say human rights are now part of their
business principles. Shell Oil’s Alan Detheridge
DETHERIDGE: Companies like Shell have a role to play in
promoting human rights. Not just the rights of its staff, not
just the rights of contractors who work for us, but
promoting rights more generally, and certainly within the
communities in and amongst whom we operate.
As corporate leaders grapple with how to respond to
human rights challenges, human rights activists are
abandoning their traditional focus on abuses by
governments. They are now confronting the many
impacts of globalization that we have explored in this
GAY MCDOUGALL: There’s been an explosion of human
rights organizations all around the world that are now in
touch with each another, and are now beginning to talk
more and more about common problems, common
strategies. It’s no longer just the question of a human rights
organization that focuses solely on the problems in their
country. But they’re seeing the link between the problems in
their country and problems across borders, regionally and
Both Globalization’s proponents and critics, see the
fight for human rights as a major challenge.
HORMATS: I think there has been a lot of improvement in
human rights around the world. This is not to say that there
is perfection and it’s not to say there are no problems. But I
think one of the great benefits that globalization has
provided the world is improvements in human well being.
THABO MBEKI: Well, I think there is a very good thing
that is happening in the whole international economic
debate. There’s issues of poverty, of a better life, of equity.
Those issues are coming back onto the agenda even of the
international corporate world. A movement away from
merely what governs our decisions and behavior is the
NADER: This is global trade without global law, without
global democracy. And if you have global trade and
investment dominated by a few giant corporations, who pit
one country against another without a rule of law, you’re
going to have increasing pressure–both in the first world and
in the thrid world —standards of living and standards of
TUTU: I hold to the view that this is a moral universe.
Goodness matters as it did forever in the past. It will
continue to do so. Truth matters. Corruption matters. I
mean we’ve seen, we’ve seen why some of the financial
institutions in Thailand, Indonesia, have gone under. It’s
been basically, ultimately, that they have flouted ethical
rules, not so much just financial rules. It has been ethical
rules. I have no qualms myself. I have no deep anxiety that
we are suddenly going to become an amoral society
Still questions remain: Will globalization advance
democracy and human rights, or will corporate power
triumph above all else? And, how can we as citizens of
the world get involved and help provide solutions?
C. HUNTER-GAULT: In this era of globalization, these are
not academic questions but flash points for continuing
debate. A debate that will determine the values that will
shape the world of the 21st Century. Thanks for watching.
Cite this arab nationalism
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