Dear OECD Watch members,
We are thrilled to announce that SOMO is setting up a pro bono investigations unit to help activists counter corporate power!
The Counter, which will go live in a few months, will be a global ‘helpdesk’ offering corporate research and company data to activists working to hold companies that cause social harms and environmental destruction to account.
SOMO has been investigating companies and providing corporate research to environmental and human rights activists for decades, but thanks to a generous grant from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, we are now able to scale up our operations and set up The Counter.
SOMO’s corporate research starts with ‘following the money’, and at The Counter we will dig into corporate and capital structures, ownership and investors, operations, finances, and governance to help build a file with evidence that can be used in an investigation, court case, or campaign. Transparency, truth, justice, and remedy, is what we strive for at The Counter.
Roberta Cowan, Corporate Researcher at SOMO: “As someone who, for years, has been digging up company data and providing corporate research to communities and activists bravely challenging corporate abuses, I am excited about what we will be able to achieve with The Counter. I have seen first-hand how transparency, solid evidence, and a paper-trail can be radically disruptive when standing up to corporate giants.”
Years of unregulated corporate expansion, where multinationals set up subsidiaries and shell companies around the world to expand into new markets, dodge tax, lower costs, and undermine labour standards, has resulted in countless environmental catastrophes, abuses of workers’ rights, the deliberate obfuscation of supply chains, and widespread corporate impunity.
The Counter will not only dig up vital data and corporate information, it will advise and help strategize with activists, communities, lawyers, and journalists about using the data where it will be most effective, including in public campaigns, with regulators, in courtrooms, and in the media.
As you can tell, we are super excited about the potential of The Counter, and we hope you are too! Over the coming months we will be hiring the additional staff and developing the systems necessary to deliver an initiative of this scale. This will include a series of introductory webinars during 2023. You can stay connected as we roll out The Counter, by signing up here to receive regular updates.
For now, please help us get the word out by: