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Three decades after the Bhopal disaster, a new approach offers hope

If successful, "restorative justice" could also provide a way forward for future cases—and force companies to put people, and the planet, before profits

By Martin Wright  

Campaigners stage a protest march in Bhopal, India. Now, campaigners are trying a new approach. Photo: PA

A common reaction to mention of the Bhopal poison gas disaster is “I think I’ve heard of it, but wasn’t it a long time ago?” Indeed, it was—in 1984 to be precise—but people are still suffering its after-effects. Worse, there has been a second poisoning: deadly chemicals left on the abandoned site are leaching into the water supply.

Humera is one young victim who is suffering, despite being born years after the…

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