One of my proudest moments was telling Jane Doe that the U.S. courts would hear her case; that a poor woman from Burma would have a fair shot against a powerful American oil company. She and I knew that our lawsuit against Unocal would not bring her baby back. But we also knew that enforcing the law against corporations would mean such abuses might be prevented in the future. Never again, we thought, would a company think it could get away with murder. The hardest thing I'll ever have to do is tell her we were wrong.
Ka Hsaw Wa is the cofounder and executive director of EarthRights International, which works for justice for victims of human rights and environmental abuses around the world.