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 2023 English France News

Other recent episodes

Podcast: #MeToo hits French cinema, movie theatre on wheels, bissextile news

How a wave of #MeToo allegations against French directors is shaking up the cinema industry; the Cinémobile movie theatre bringing culture to the countryside; and the satirical news rag that appears just once every four years, on 29 February. Seven years after the #MeToo movement shook Hollywood, Judith Godrèche and…
1 Mar 25 min

Podcast: French farmers protest, battling the mathematics gender gap

No quick fix for French farmers who have been protesting by laying siege to Paris. And it's just the latest in a long string of farmers' demonstrations over the last 100 years. Plus, why French girls are faring worse at maths than boys, and what to do about it. Farmers…
1 Feb 31 min

Podcast: Fixing France, opposing immigration reforms, Françoise Giroud

A critique that highlights the gap between France and its ideals. Protests to try and block the new "racist" immigration reforms. And the story of Françoise Giroud, journalist-turned-minister in the 1970s.  France is a country of impossible ideals, built on the myth of a Revolution fought to secure Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité, but…
18 Jan 31 min

Podcast: British in France, returning human remains, the Comtesse du Barry

How British people in France have been navigating visiting and living in France since Brexit effectively ended their visa-free travel to Europe. What to do with the human remains in French museums? And the story behind Louis XV's third mistress, the Comtesse du Barry, and how her name got associated…
7 Dec 2023 29 min

Podcast: French rooster revival, thrifting, reporter Albert Londres

The man trying to save France's emblematic Gaulois doré rooster from oblivion. How online platforms are rivaling charity shops as thrifting and second hand products take off. And the story of Albert Londres, who left a lasting mark on French journalism. Since the Middle Ages, the Gallic rooster has been…
23 Nov 2023 29 min