Addressing Systemic Issues
Why We Exist
The RVC Collective exists to analyse and address the systemic issues that underlie the impunity with which corporations frequently violate national laws and international standards protecting human and labour rights and the environment.
Investment-led economic development to achieve market-driven growth is neither sustainable nor resilient as a model for development. Value chains have become the dominant mechanism for international investment and trade. However, the power imbalances within these chains have resulted in a global economy dependent on a largely precarious workforce paid poverty wages (with informal and migrant workers being particularly vulnerable), on the concentration of land resources away from communities and into the hands of corporations, and on the continual degradation and destruction of vital ecosystems.
In this context, women and girls undertaking reproductive and care work in the home and the community are dismissed as high cost, low profit citizens and are regularly subject to harassment and even violence when they do enter the world of work. Other marginalised groups such as indigenous and minority ethnic communities, migrants, LGBTQ+ citizens, older people, and those with disabilities are often excluded from and harmed by this economic system.
The prevalence of neoliberal economic policy since the 1970s has led to a period of unparalleled consolidation of corporate power at global level directly linked to a decrease in the power of political institutions. Trade and investment agreements, and the competitive nature of the markets they shape, further exacerbate the erosion of social protection and the ability of national governments to regulate in the public interest. A parallel justice system embedded in these agreements (Investor-state dispute settlement) directly undermines democratic processes by allowing corporations to sue states for legislation or court rulings that, they argue, will affect their profits.
Organisers, activists and journalists that stand up for the rights of workers, communities and other marginalised groups are increasingly subject to repression and violence at the hands of national governments or private companies.