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  • Multinational corporations

    多國公司

  • from the clothes we wear, to the technology we use,

    - 從我們穿的衣服,到我們使用的技術。

  • they influence and control our lives

    他們影響和控制我們的生活

  • in ways we possibly don't even understand.

    在我們可能都不瞭解的情況下。

  • We'll show you how the law shapes their behaviour to keep us safe.

    我們將向你展示法律是如何塑造他們的行為以保證我們的安全。

  • In this first episode... they're bigger than many countries,

    在這第一集裡......他們比許多國家都大。

  • but what exactly is a multinational corporation?

    但究竟什麼是跨國公司?

  • With huge resources and growing power, what keeps them in line?

    擁有巨大的資源和不斷增長的力量,是什麼讓他們保持一致?

  • And... is the law keeping up as these companies change themselves

    而且......當這些公司改變自己時,法律是否跟得上?

  • and the world around us?

    和我們周圍的世界?

  • Multinational corporations

    跨國公司-

  • private companies which operate in many nations

    在許多國家經營的私營公司

  • can be richer than some countries...

    可以比一些國家更富裕...

  • and they're getting richer.

    而且他們越來越富有。

  • Food and drinks maker Nestlé, famous for Kit Kats and Cheerios,

    食品和飲料製造商雀巢公司,以Kit Kats和Cheerios聞名。

  • was worth around 350 billion dollars in 2020.

    在2020年,價值約為3500億美元。

  • That's more than the economic output of Portugal.

    這比葡萄牙的經濟產出還多。

  • Oil company Shell is worth 87 billion dollars

  • more than the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    比剛果民主共和國還多。

  • And Apple, whose products you might be using now, is worth two trillion dollars.

    而你現在可能正在使用的蘋果公司的產品,價值兩萬億美元。

  • That puts its wealth ahead of both Russia and Canada!

    這使得它的財富超過了俄羅斯和加拿大!

  • How have companies got so big recently?

    公司最近是如何變得這麼大的?

  • Well, in part the growth of the internet means that a company

    那麼,在某種程度上,互聯網的發展意味著一個公司

  • can be based in one place, but sell around the world.

    可以設在一個地方,但在世界各地銷售。

  • And that means it can grow and become very powerful.

    而這意味著它可以成長並變得非常強大。

  • Another aspect is China: it has opened up in recent decades

    另一個方面是中國:近幾十年來,中國開放了

  • and so has been able to attract investment from around the world,

    並是以能夠吸引來自世界各地的投資。

  • helping these companies to grow bigger.

    幫助這些公司做大。

  • The world is changing. These powerful international organisations

    世界正在發生變化。這些強大的國際組織

  • can know what we buy, who our friends are

    可以知道我們買了什麼,我們的朋友是誰

  • and virtually everything else about us.

    以及關於我們的幾乎所有其他事情。

  • Questions have already been raised about how they're using this power.

    已經有人對他們如何使用這一權力提出了疑問。

  • If they chose to abuse that power and even break the law,

    如果他們選擇濫用這種權力,甚至違反法律。

  • what would stop them? We spoke to lawyer Mark Stephens

    什麼能阻止他們?我們採訪了律師Mark Stephens

  • and asked how the law is changing as multinationals get bigger.

    並詢問隨著跨國公司的規模越來越大,法律是如何變化的。

  • The law's had to adapt and change from a nationally based system where,

    法律必須適應和改變以國家為基礎的制度,在這種制度下。

  • you know, a company would only work in one country, where...

    你知道,一個公司只在一個國家工作,那裡...

  • to the modern day, where companies will have multitudes of jurisdictions

    到了現代,公司會有很多的司法管轄區。

  • that they operate in and therefore they need

    他們在其中運作,是以他們需要

  • some kind of almost global control

    某種幾乎全球性的控制

  • and that's where international law comes in,

    而這正是國際法的作用所在。

  • because it sets the standardsthe basic minimum standards

    因為它規定了標準--基本的最低標準--。

  • that they have to comply with.

    他們必須遵守的規定。

  • Mark thinks the law needs to develop

    馬克認為法律需要發展

  • to set basic standards for multinational corporations.

    為多國公司制定基本標準。

  • Many laws were designed when companies were in just one country.

    許多法律是在公司只在一個國家時設計的。

  • So, how effective is the law in dealing with multinationals?

    那麼,法律在處理跨國公司方面的效果如何?

  • I think the complexity of companies today, on an internationalised basis,

    我認為今天公司的複雜性,在國際化的基礎上。

  • makes the law very difficult to be enforced against them.

    使得法律很難對他們進行強制執行。

  • So, I've got one client, which has 748 companies

    所以,我有一個客戶,它有748家公司

  • in about 47 different countries,

    在大約47個不同的國家。

  • and so getting an oversight of that, getting control of that

    是以,要對其進行監督,對其進行控制。

  • from a legal and regulatory side, can be very challenging.

    從法律和監管方面來看,這可能是非常具有挑戰性的。

  • And that's the opportunity that international law provides,

    而這正是國際法所提供的機會。

  • because essentially it's giving the minimum standards

    因為從本質上講,它給出了最低標準

  • to which they need to operate.

    他們需要在其中運作。

  • Companies are very complex

    公司是非常複雜的

  • so sometimes it's hard to enforce the law

    所以有時很難執行法律

  • when they are spread out around the world.

    當他們分佈在世界各地的時候。

  • Can we punish a parent company

    我們是否可以懲罰一個母公司

  • for something it's responsible for in another country?

    為它在另一個國家所負責的事情負責?

  • It's becoming easier to punish a... a mother company

    懲罰一個......一個母親公司越來越容易了 --

  • the holding company, if you will

    控股公司,如果你願意 -

  • for the actions of its subsidiaries. But on the face of it,

    為其子公司的行為負責。但從表面上看。

  • it's the subsidiary that is going to be liable.

    是子公司要承擔責任。

  • It's only if you can show that there was a controlling mind

    只有當你能證明有一個控制的思想時,才會有這樣的結果

  • back at the headquarters, or that in some way they should be accountable,

    回到總部,或以某種方式對他們進行問責。

  • that you can hold the parent company to account.

    你可以要求母公司承擔責任。

  • Lawyers are becoming increasingly ingenious

    律師們正變得越來越精明

  • in the way in which they are visiting accountability on the parent companies,

    在他們對母公司進行問責的方式中。

  • and that's only got to be a good thing because if they're accountable,

    而這隻能是一件好事,因為如果他們負責任。

  • they will behave better.

    他們會表現得更好。

  • It is becoming easier to punish companies

    懲罰公司正變得越來越容易

  • for wrongdoing in different countries,

    對不同國家的不法行為。

  • and if they are accountable, it will influence their behaviour.

    而如果他們負責任,就會影響他們的行為。

  • Of course, many companies do what's right without being forced to,

    當然,許多公司在沒有被強迫的情況下也會做正確的事情。

  • but it can take something shocking happening to start change.

    但它可能需要一些令人震驚的事情發生才能開始改變。

  • In 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed,

    2013年,孟加拉國的拉納廣場大樓倒塌了。

  • killing more than a thousand people.

    殺害了一千多人。

  • It was the worst of many such incidents in the country.

    這是該國許多此類事件中最糟糕的一次。

  • The following month, international clothing manufacturers quickly

    次月,國際服裝製造商迅速

  • made a legal agreement to improve safety in factories in Bangladesh.

    達成了一項法律協議,以改善孟加拉國工廠的安全。

  • This is what's known as Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR.

    這就是所謂的企業社會責任或CSR。

  • These are the practices or policies that a business can implement

    這些是一個企業可以實施的做法或政策

  • that do good in the world. Think charity, or volunteering,

    在世界範圍內做好事。想想慈善事業,或志願服務。

  • or the environment and it's more than just about profit.

    或環境,而且這不僅僅是利潤問題。

  • But what about when companies don't choose to behave?

    但是,當公司不選擇行為的時候,怎麼辦?

  • How can the law control something that is so big?

    法律怎麼能控制這麼大的東西?

  • Ranjan Agarwal, a Canadian lawyer who deals with big companies,

    Ranjan Agarwal,一位與大公司打交道的加拿大律師。

  • explained who is responsible for enforcing the law

    解釋了誰負責執行法律的問題

  • on multinational companies.

    關於跨國公司。

  • In our system, around the world, we seem to have accepted that

    在我們的系統中,在世界各地,我們似乎已經接受了這一點

  • the obligation or responsibility to police corporations

    監管公司的義務或責任

  • is with individual states.

    是與個別國家。

  • In international law, there is no general rule

    在國際法中,不存在一般規則

  • that companies are responsible for wrongful acts,

    公司要對不法行為負責。

  • even if they're committed internationally or abroad.

    即使他們是在國際上或國外犯下的罪行。

  • There are treaties, multilateral treaties,

    有一些條約,多邊條約。

  • that impose requirements or obligations

    規定要求或義務的

  • on countries, but not on companies.

    對國家,而不是對公司。

  • There is no international body that regulates multinationals.

    沒有任何國際機構對跨國公司進行監管。

  • Instead, there are treaties that impose obligations

    相反,有的條約規定了義務

  • on countries, but not companies.

    關於國家,但不是公司。

  • So, do these companies have to follow things

    那麼,這些公司是否必須遵循事情

  • like international human rights laws?

    像國際人權法?

  • For the most part, no. In our system,

    在大多數情況下,沒有。在我們的系統中。

  • we require companies to follow the domestic laws of their states.

    我們要求公司遵循其所在州的國內法律。

  • Those domestic laws may align with international human rights laws,

    這些國內法律可能與國際人權法相一致。

  • or human rights normsexpectations that we have as a community.

    或人權規範--我們作為一個社區的期望。

  • There are a couple of exceptions, where states...

    有幾個例外情況,即各州...

  • wheresorrycompanies may be governed by international treaties,

    其中--對不起--公司可能受到國際條約的約束。

  • but those are generally exceptions.

    但這些一般是例外情況。

  • Companies follow the domestic laws of their states,

    公司遵循其所在州的國內法律。

  • but they don't necessarily have to follow international human rights laws,

    但他們不一定要遵守國際人權法律。

  • which are designed for countries.

    這是為國家設計的。

  • How do people decide which state's laws a company follows?

    人們如何決定一個公司遵循哪個州的法律?

  • For the most part, people don't decide

    在大多數情況下,人們並不決定

  • where the law's going to be enforced.

    法律將在哪裡被執行。

  • We require our governmentssometimes working together

    我們要求我們的政府--有時是共同合作--的

  • to establish rules.

    以建立規則。

  • In essence, we have jurisdictional laws across the world:

    從本質上講,我們在世界各地都有管轄法律。

  • each country gets to decide where and how

    每個國家都可以決定在哪裡以及如何

  • it's going to take jurisdiction over companies.

    它要對公司進行管轄。

  • Sometimes it's where the company operates

    有時是公司經營的地方 -

  • that is, where its headquarters is.

    也就是其總部所在地。

  • Sometimes it's where the company does business,

    有時是公司做生意的地方。

  • but again we rely on uni...

    但是,我們還是要依靠大學。

  • individual states to make those decisions.

    各個州可以做出這些決定。

  • Sometimes governments work together to establish rules,

    有時政府會共同制定規則。

  • but each country gets to decide where

    但每個國家都可以決定在哪裡

  • and how it's going to take legal action over companies.

    以及它將如何對公司採取法律行動。

  • So, is international law fit for purpose as these companies develop?

    那麼,隨著這些公司的發展,國際法是否符合目的?

  • I believe that international law is moving to a place where

    我相信,國際法正在走向一個地方,即

  • companies may be held to account.

    公司可能會被追究責任。

  • For example, several years ago the UN established guiding principles

    例如,幾年前,聯合國制定了指導性原則

  • on business and human rights,

    關於商業和人權。

  • which were intended to create a global standard,

    其目的是為了建立一個全球標準。

  • to implement a framework to prevent and address

    實施一個框架,以防止和解決

  • the risk of human rights on business activity.

    人權對商業活動的風險。

  • But as long as we have nation states,

    但只要我們還有民族國家。

  • I believe that we will rely on individual countries to enforce these norms.

    我相信,我們將依靠各個國家來執行這些規範。

  • Even though the UN established principles

    即使聯合國制定了原則

  • to guide businesses on human rights,

    以指導企業的人權工作。

  • we rely on individual countries to enforce the law on companies.

    我們依靠個別國家對公司實施法律。

  • So, we've heard that the way multinational corporations

    是以,我們已經聽說,跨國公司的方式

  • are spread around the world makes them hard for the law to control.

    在世界範圍內的傳播使得法律很難控制他們。

  • We also heard that the law is changing to deal with that.

    我們還聽說,法律正在改變以應對這一問題。

  • But international laws will always depend on countries

    但是,國際法將永遠取決於各國

  • to agree to follow them.

    以同意遵循他們。

Multinational corporations

多國公司

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什麼是跨國企業?BBC學習英語 (What is a multinational? BBC Learning English)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 11 日
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