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RAID celebrates its 25th anniversary year

Here comes the end to a very special year for RAID, one in which we marked our 25th anniversary. From humble beginnings at Kellogg College in Oxford in 1998, we have grown into an innovative and gutsy NGO standing beside local communities to take on corporate wrongdoing. But don’t just take our word for it!

Last month, we celebrated our anniversary in style at a public event at Matrix Chambers in London. Renowned barrister, Richard Hermer KC, who hosted the event, highlighted the three aspects of our work that he found “absolutely inspiring” and which “stand out”. We don’t want to toot our own horn, but we’re glad he did.

Here is what he said he loved about RAID. Firstly, “the extraordinary depth and integrity of RAID’s research”. Secondly, RAID’s tenacity and “dogged determination in pursuing justice and not being put off”. And thirdly, “the flexibility of RAID’s approach, using the law, conducting advocacy and garnering publicity for its cases”. Thank you, Richard!

Our event included RAID’s founder, the indomitable Tricia Feeney, and our Chair of Trustees, Steve Crawshaw, who opened the celebration for us. RAID Trustee, Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou, chaired the panel and was accompanied by: Anneke Van Woudenberg, RAID’s Executive Director; Professor Robert McCorquodale, barrister and mediator at Brick Court Chambers, and member of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights; Waikwa Wanyoike, litigation director at the Open Society Justice Initiative; and Richard Hermer KC.

We discussed the landscape of corporate accountability, including the innovative ways in which strategic litigation to hold corporations to account has expanded dramatically over the past decade. Such cases, especially in the UK, provide new opportunities for justice for those harmed, although these legal routes are still limited and costly. Panellists also highlighted the expanding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) claims by companies, alongside social auditing processes that underpin them, and expressed concerns about the gap between rhetoric and reality. We looked at how collaboration with frontline communities in the global South will be absolutely crucial for effective corporate accountability strategies going forward, especially as we move forward in the green energy transition.

“We are proud to be among the pioneering civil society groups reminding corporate actors of their human rights duties, and diligently investigating violations when they happen,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg. “We have seen huge advances over the past 25 years, but we are also acutely aware of the challenges ahead to expand scrutiny over powerful multinationals, seek to end corporate misconduct, and bring justice to those harmed.”

Our special fundraiser to help continue RAID’s work is still open. Do please consider donating here if you can. You can also donate via Stripe right over here.

Thank you for celebrating with us!