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Ethical Consumer's primary goal is making global businesses more sustainable through consumer pressure, and they explain the importance to this mission of identifying oppressive regimes:
Ethical Consumer was propelled into being over twenty years ago by the boycott of South Africa and the pressing need for citizens around the world to take a stand against apartheid. We have used economic support for oppressive regimes as a barometer of corporate social responsibility ever since, and companies with operations in such countries are penalised under our rating system. The rationale behind this is straightforward: companies benefit from the very conditions which contribute to oppression, such as harsh labour conditions, lax environmental regulations and an economic environment conducive to corruption and tax avoidance. Furthermore, trading with a regime helps to make it financially viable. Oppressive regimes are supported by a series of economic ties without which they would not survive. Foreign investment is a crucial element of this.