Podcast: holding multinationals to account, Agent Orange on stage, ten years of gay marriage

France's pioneering 2017 law that made French-based multinational companies responsible for human rights and environmental violations wherever they do business. Also, a Franco-Vietnamese theatre director brings Vietnamese history to life on stage. And the first same-sex marriage remembered 10 years after it became legal.

The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh a decade ago led to France passing a duty of care law in 2017, making French-headquartered multinationals responsible for human rights violations and environmental damages throughout the supply chain. Nayla Ajaltouni (@naylaajaltouni) of the collective Éthique sur l’étiquette says the French initiative has helped spur on a similar law at the European level, but feels the business-friendly Macron government is not as ambitious as it should be in ensuring labour and human rights come before business as usual. (Listen @2'08'') 

Franco-Vietnamese activist Tran To Nga has spent years pushing for the chemical companies that produced Agent Orange – a herbicide used by the United States during the Vietnam war that caused cancers and birth defects – to be held responsible in French courts. Director Marine Bachelot-Nguyen was inspired by Tran’s story and created a one-woman show, Nos corps empoisonnés (Our poisoned bodies), based on her life and activism. She talks about making theatre as a way of reaching audiences who might not otherwise listen. (Listen @22'07'')

France legalised gay marriage on 23 April, 2013. 10years later, Vincent Autin (@VincentAutin), half of the first ever same-sex couple to tie the knot in France, reflects on the legacy of the law. And lawyer Florent Berdeaux (@florentberdeaux) talks about how the right to marry also opened up the right to divorce, which is arguably even more important. (Listen @13'50'')

Episode mixed by Cecile Pompeani.

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
20 Apr English France News

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