Amnesty International and Greenpeace joined forces on Monday in calling for a British-based multinational behind the 2006 dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, to be criminally investigated in this country.
Trafigura is the world's third-largest independent oil-trading company and the second-largest trader in non-ferrous metals.
The incident resulted in over 100,000 people requiring medical assistance.
Although Trafigura has its headquarters in the Netherlands and Switzerland, Amnesty and Greenpeace argued that the British government must launch an investigation as the firm's British arm took many of the key decisions that led to the disaster.
A new joint report the Toxic Truth - the result of a three-year investigation - provides an in-depth examination of the "tragic litany of failures" that created a medical, political and environmental disaster.
It details how existing laws aimed to prevent such tragedies were flouted, with several governments failing to halt the progress of the Probo Koala tanker and its toxic cargo towards Abidjan.
The report further challenges the legality of a £120 million no liability settlement in Cote d'Ivoire in 2007 that allowed Trafigura to evade prosecution for its role in the dumping of the toxic waste.
In a civil claim in Britain, brought on behalf of a number of the victims, Trafigura also settled - this time for £30m - again with no admission of liability.
A Dutch court found the company guilty in 2010 of illegally exporting the waste from the Netherlands but the prosecution refused to consider the subsequent events in Abidjan or their effects on human health.
Amnesty International's secretary general Salil Shetty said: "Six years have passed since this horrible tragedy was allowed to happen. It's time that Trafigura was made to face full legal accountability for what happened.
"People in Abidjan were failed not just by their own government but by governments in Europe who did not enforce their own laws.
"Victims are still waiting for justice and there are no guarantees that this kind of corporate crime will not happen again."
Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said: "This is a story of corporate crime, human rights abuse and governments' failure to protect people and the environment.
"It is a story that exposes how systems for enforcing international law have failed to keep up with companies that operate transnationally and how one company has been able to take full advantage of legal uncertainties and jurisdictional loopholes, with devastating consequences.
"It is not too late for justice to be served, for the people of Abidjan to be given full information about what was dumped and for Trafigura to pay for its crimes.
"Only then can we hope to avoid any repetition of this kind of disaster."
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