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Weekly Update - 7 November 2018

Lead Story
Eight major fossil fuel companies failing to adequately plan for low-carbon world, say scientists

Union of Concerned Scientists

  • Climate Accountability Scorecard tracks the actions of fossil fuel companies on climate change including business planning, policies, disclosure, and disinformation
  • We invited the eight companies included in the scorecard to respond; responses provided by BP, Consol Energy, Peabody Energy, Shell
  • Arch Coal, Chevron, ConocoPhilipps, ExxonMobil did not respond
photo credit: Mike Senese
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
New snapshot: Business & human rights in the ICT sector
  • Includes analysis of company responses, case studies of alleged abuses, company actions, and guidance to improve human rights due diligence
RWE lawsuit: First test case in Europe to clarify responsibilities of carbon majors for climate change
  • Interview with Dr. Roda Verheyen (legal counsel), Roxana Baldrich and Christoph Bals (Germanwatch) about lawsuit filed by Peruvian villager Saul Luciano Lliuya against RWE in relation to its alleged contribution to climate change
  • Summary profile of lawsuit also available here
Webinar series: Take action for a fast & fair transition to a low-carbon economy

Co-hosted with ShareAction, The B Team, UN PRI, Investor Alliance for Human Rights

  • Sign up now for the next webinar, aimed at renewable energy companies & buyers (19 Nov, 3-4pm GMT)
  • See here for recording of previous webinar for civil society
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is recruiting:
Brazil: 3rd anniversary of Samarco dam collapse; worst socio-environmental disaster in country's history
  • Activists visited London to meet with BHP Billiton, co-owner of the dam, to voice their concerns re compensation, resettlement; BHP reiterated their apologies for the dam failure & committed to meet again
  • Class action lawsuit for GPB 5bn filed on behalf of 240,000 plaintiffs impacted by the disaster, one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British court
Report evaluates implementation of UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights in Norwegian development cooperation

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

  • Report focuses on Mozambique and Tanzania
Corporate Human Rights Benchmark launches online consultation on ICT sector methodology (deadline 15 December)
  • CHRB will assess the human rights performance of the largest ICT equipment manufacturing companies on a pilot basis in 2019
NGOs call on Intl. Criminal Court to investigate & prosecute alleged pillage & destruction of Palestinian natural resources


  • Refers to businesses in agricultural & industrial settlements; cites impacts on Palestinian communities’ rights
Commentary: Philippines Human Rights Commission hears from experts on climate change as inquiry on fossil fuel companies proceeds 

Annalisa Savaresi, Univ. of Stirling & Joana Setzer, London School of Economics

Nigeria: Union alleges exploitation of contract workers at Shell including poverty wages, poor health & safety


  • We invited Shell to respond; response provided 
Dem. Rep. of Congo: Report documents links between cobalt mining, corruption, and human rights abuses; provides recommendations for automobile & electronics firms

Enough Project

Sierra Leone: Makpele Community & agricultural investor Natural Habitat reach agreement on land access rights following land grab concerns


Apple, Facebook, Google among 56 businesses telling Trump administration not to erode transgender rights 

Washington Post

  • Article also refers to Airbnb, Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, IBM, Intel, Lyft, Microsoft, Dow Chemical, and Warby Parker
Ecuador: Indigenous communities win lawsuit to nullify 52 gold mining concessions in Amazonian rainforest

Amazon Frontlines

  • Provincial court ruled that mining operations had violated indigenous rights to water, food, and a healthy environment; ruling used Ecuador's new law on the rights of nature
Canada: Nestlé allegedly extracting water from Six Nations land without consent while local residents lack drinking water

Guardian (UK)

  • We invited Nestlé to respond; response provided
Asia & Pacific
Myanmar: Briefing paper aims to help business, civil society & govt. understand impact of investments on biodiversity & human rights 

Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB)

  • Report draws on MCRB's research into the impact of the oil & gas, mining, tourism and agribusiness sectors
Australia: Majority of migrant workers underpaid & unable to recover wages, according to report

Univ. of New South Wales & Univ. of Technology Sydney; Guardian (UK)

  • Large-scale wage theft was worst in fruit & vegetable-picking, farm work
Japan: Mitsubishi Materials to set up compensation fund for more than 3000 Chinese victims of forced World War II labour


China: Labour rights group claims students forced to work on Apple watch production line; company is investigating allegation

CNN Business

So. Korea: Mediation committee rules that Samsung should compensate victims who suffered occupational illnesses from 1984 onward

Intl. Campaign for Health and Labour Rights of Samsung Electronics Workers

Europe & Central Asia


Spain: Unions win landmark deal for Just Transition from coal mining; including rights for workers & sustainable development for communities


  • Deal has been praised by unions as 'a model' and provides benefits to miners and their communities
Tetley becomes third UK tea brand to publish list of suppliers; experts say transparency must be followed by action to improve conditions for workers

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Employment Ministers from 5 European govts. warn Ryanair to respect national labour laws

Business Recorder

Middle East & North Africa
Consulting firms played "critical roles" in Saudi Crown Prince's drive to consolidate power, according to New York Times 
  • Saudi govt. has been criticised for silencing critics of the regime
  • Article includes comments from Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Consultant Group, McKinsey
Qatar Govt. responds to claims of labour rights abuses at Kempinski Hotel
  • Govt. states it has made progress in labour reforms, including banning 12,000 companies that had not respected laws 
Company responses Non-responses
Event: Launch of the 2018 results of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark  (12 Nov. London)

UN Forum on Business & Human Rights (26-28 Nov.): Registration open & draft programme available 

Call for input: Intl. Finance Corporation's draft impact investment operating principles (deadline: end of Dec. 2018)
Forthcoming events: 
  • Supply Chain Summit Series (14-15 Nov, Chicago; 12-13 Feb, San Diego, USA)
  • How Business Can Support Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders (12 Nov, Oslo, Norway)
  • Stronger Together 5 Years On: Our Journey, Your Next Step (13 Nov, Derby, UK)
  • Can companies do business with Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory while respecting human rights? (14 Nov, London, UK)
  • London Launch of the Business and Human Rights Practitioners’ Network and its inaugural event (20 Nov, London, UK)
Details of these & other future events can be found here. Please send relevant event information to Maja Janjic:
Vacancies at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Current vacancies:
Further details & other recently posted jobs available here. To submit a new job announcement in business & human rights please go here.
We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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