Any corporation conducting business activities overseas, whether acting independently or through a subsidiary, must take into account its responsibility for human rights violations. National and European laws on labor, the environment and consumers' rights provide comprehensive protection for human rights within Europe. Outside of the EU such protection can be lacking. Protection mechanisms are often absent while local authorities may be lax when it comes to enforcing existing laws. In some states trade unions and other organizations face violent oppression. In such countries workers and others affected by corporate crimes have great difficulty enforcing their rights against state authorities and economic powers. Under such circumstances, European corporations ? through their subsidiaries ? run the risk of violating human rights or indirectly facilitating rights violations by cooperating with authoritarian regimes or paramilitary groups.
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