Olympics Denigrate Suffering of Bhopal Survivors

December 5, 2011

The International Olympic Committee loves to think of their event as a not just a sporting event, but as a tool for furthering peace and social justice around the world. Furthermore, The Olympic Committee’s guidelines on sourcing are meant to place a high priority on environmental, social and ethical issues when contracting for the Games.

india bhopalThat sounds awesome!

But how then can London’s 2012 Olympic Games justify giving chemical giant Dow Chemical a high profile contract in light of Dow’s failure to address one of the worst corporate related human rights disasters of the 20th century? You can tell the Olympics’ leadership about the legacy of Bhopal that Dow Chemical refuses to address and ask them why they ignored this tragedy when giving this juicy contract to Dow Chemical.

Dow Chemical Company has been granted a contract to provide a decorative fabric wrap to encircle London’s Olympic Stadium during the next year’s Games.

Since 2001, Dow has been a 100% owner of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), the company that owned the Indian subsidiary that operated the plant responsible for the 1984 Bhopal disaster (the anniversary was December 3). Thousands of people died and more than 100,000 continue to suffer from health problems as a result of the Bhopal leak. Even after 27 years, the site still awaits clean-up and a thorough investigation into the leak and its impact.

Survivors have not received fair compensation or access to the medical care they need. Survivors and human rights groups have been campaigning for Dow to address the ongoing health and environmental impacts of the disaster. But Dow has consistently rejected any responsibility for UCC’s liabilities in Bhopal.

Dow’s bottom line will grow ever richer while Bhopal’s victims suffer. How’s that for the Olympic spirit? You can do something about it by writing to the Olympics’ leadership now.