35 years – Still no Justice Justice for Bhopal Victims

The Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV), India Ban Asbestos Network (iBAN) and Occupational and Environmental Health Netowrk India (OEHNI) express its deep sadness and outrage at continuing denial of justice to the victims of gas tragedy which took place in Bhopal on 3 December 1984. For 35 years, the victims and their family members have been denied just compensation and rehabilitation.

ANROEV is a network of victims and grass root organisations who work on safe working conditions and environmental impacts due to factories and mines in Asia. ANROEV combines the OSH rights struggle in different Asian countries into a one united struggle and demands better health and safety for the workers across the region.

iBAN is a coalition of labour organizations, public health groups, environmental groups, academicians, scientific experts, concerned citizens, victims and their families. The aim of the network is community wellbeing and ensuring that communities, workers and residents remain safe from the exposure to Asbestos fibre and diseases caused by this dreaded fibre.

Occupational and Environmental Health Netowrk India (OEHNI) is National network of grassroots organizations working on OHS rights.

The gas tragedy which took place just after midnight on that fateful night at the factory owned by Union Carbide (now owned by Dow Chemicals) left more than 8000 people dead in the first week. The current death toll is estimated to be more than 20,000. Countless others are still battling chronic illnesses brought about by the gas tragedy, ranging from skin diseases, vision impairment, cancers. Genetic mutations have taken place, and many children with disabilities are being born.

The Indian Government let off the perpetrators of this heinous crimes. Till date, no government agency has tried to present the correct figures for the number of people who have died or have been injured due to the tragedy. Without this accurate figure, the amount of compensation which should be rightfully claimed from the company remains inadequate. Many victims and family members are still seeking for compensation, rehabilitation and justice after 35 years have passed. The Indian government refuses to acknowledge them as a victim.

None of the senior leadership of Dow Chemicals (previously Union Carbide) has been tried in court or otherwise held accountable for these murders even though internal memos show that they knew beforehand of the inadequate safety systems at the factory. The Indian government has failed to put enough pressure on the United States Justice Department to even deliver the summons to Dow Chemicals to force them to appear in the Indian court and be held accountable for their actions.

The factory site still contains a large amount of waste from the time of operation which continue to contaminate the ground water. No concrete plans have been made for disposing this waste, neither by the government nor the company.

It is clear that the system has failed to hold multinational corporations accountable for their crimes and violations of human rights, and that our governments are not interested in change and instead the people of Bhopal have been left to fight for clean-up of the toxic waste, adequate healthcare, clean water, fair compensation, and corporate accountability.

Bhopal remains the worst industrial disaster ever recorded. The commitment, strength and endurance of the Bhopalies provide inspiration to all of us to continue our struggles for safe workplaces and clean environments in Asia and throughout the world. All of us stands along with the people of Bhopal for as long as necessary to fight for justice.

लड़गे – जीतगे कोईऔरपीिड़तनह

(We will fight, we will win!)

कोईऔरपीिड़तनह

(No More Victims)

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