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India: Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), DOW Chemicals and the Bhopal Communities in India - The Case

, Index number: ASA 20/005/2005

This document reviews this case where a toxic gas leak from a pesticide plant in Bhopal owned by the US-based multinational Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) which killed more than 7,000 people within days. Since then at least 15,000 more people have died from illnesses related to gas exposure and many more still suffer. The document considers the impact on human rights, the role of Union Carbide Corporation, the role of the Governments of India and Madhya Pradesh and the UN Norms. It concludes that Governments have the primary responsibility for protecting the human rights of communities endangered by the activities of corporations. However, as the influence and reach of companies have grown, there has been a developing consensus that they must be brought within the framework of international human rights standards.

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