Working with everyone to advance human rights in business.
View this email in your browser

Weekly Update - 8 June 2016

Lead Story
New platform launched: Explore & compare company action on migrant-worker rights in Gulf construction
  • 47 companies contacted so far; 10 full responses & 5 general statements received. 100 companies will be contacted by end of the year
  • issues covered include recruitment, wages, passport retention, accommodation, health & safety & more
  • search features & interactive map allow users to compare companies' responses

From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
KnowTheChain announces firms in food & apparel sectors to be benchmarked on their steps to address forced labour in supply chains "Businesses Must Respect Human Rights for a Fair Transition to a Renewable Future"

Kasumi Maeda & Eniko Horvath, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in Triple Pundit

  • do renewable energy firms’ practices & operations meet human rights obligations?
Videos of "Strategic Litigation on Modern Slavery in Global Value Chains" event (London, 17 May)
How to include human rights defenders in Natl. Action Plans on business & human rights: New guidance

Intl. Service for Human Rights (ISHR) & Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

Chocolate companies join new World Cocoa Foundation programme to help cocoa farmers adapt to climate change

Sustainable Brands

  • companies involved include: Barry Callebaut, Cargill, Ecom Agrotrade, Hershey, Lindt & Sprüngli, Olam Intl., Mars,  Nestlé, Touton
UN Working Group report to Human Rights Council highlights role of state-owned enterprises

Treaty on business & human rights is the “only realistic way” to stop labour abuse in supply chains, says Human Rights Watch


Civil society groups urge UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights to condemn harassment of rights defenders

Intl. Service for Human Rights; Global Initiative for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights; Platform Against Impunity; nearly 300 other NGOs & groups

So. Africa: Gold mining companies to appeal silicosis & tuberculosis class action certification

Reuters; Action for South Africa (ACTSA)

Nigeria: President announces cleanup of oil pollution sites in Ogoniland

News Agency of Nigeria; Amnesty Intl., Environmental Rights Action & other NGOs; Guardian (UK)

  • launch welcomed by local leaders & NGOs, but some recall past broken promises, urge further action by Shell & govt.
Kenya: Danwatch report reveals communities face prostitution, violence & alcoholism at Lake Turkana Wind Power resettlement site
  • comments by partners in Lake Turkana Wind Power project included in report
Central African Republic to resume diamond exports after Kimberley Process lifts ban on condition that govt. implements traceability programme


Colombian victims of paramilitary killings can move forward with lawsuit against former Chiquita executives, following US court decision

Bloomberg; EarthRights Intl.

Resolute Forest Products files lawsuit in US court against environmental activists alleging they acted as a “criminal enterprise” in their advocacy in Canada

Todd Paglia, Exec. Director of Stand Earth, in Huffington Post; Courthouse News Service

Costa Rica & Ecuador: Oxfam reports on labour abuses & “inhumane conditions” in pineapple & banana farms

Fresh Fruit Portal

Asia & Pacific
So. Korea: UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights’ issues statement at the end of country visit
  • highlights abusive working conditions among subcontractors, industrial accidents & illness, repression of union activity
Pakistan: Resumption of talks for compensation of families of those killed in Ali Enterprises factory fire welcomed by victims’ group - talks moderated by ILO 

Daily Times

Thailand: Struggle against mining abuses leaves activists exposed to threats, violence & judicial harassment

Intl. Commission of Jurists & Fortify Rights in Bangkok Post 

China: 14 year-old boy working at Foshan Zhiya Underwear factory found dead – death suspected to be linked to excessive overtime 

China Labor Watch

  • we invited Alibaba, which sources from factory, and inspection firm SGS to respond - Alibaba responded, and we will indicate next week whether SGS responds
Hong Kong: Lancôme cancels event with pro-democracy singer amid criticism by Chinese state media 


Europe & Central Asia
UK: Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley questioned by MPs over working conditions

Guardian (UK)

  • trade union alleges a "culture of fear" at company
  • woman gave birth in warehouse toilet because she was scared to take time off
  • Ashley admits paying below the minimum wage & having too many staff on zero hours contracts - which are criticised by rights groups as exploitative 
Middle East & North Africa
Turkey: Syrian child refugees allegedly found in sweatshop making military uniforms for ISIS

Mail Online (UK)

Iran sees increase in foreign direct investment

FDI Intelligence; Reuters

  • 22 new FDI projects in 1st quarter of 2016 - 2013 had seen 3, 2014: 8, 2015: 9 
Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • intl. conference on social impacts of supply chains (13-15 Jun, Cambridge, USA)
  • 2016 Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk (13 Jun, London)
  • training course on impact of UK Modern Slavery Act (14 Jun, London)
  • including human rights defenders in National Action Plans (15 Jun, Geneva)
  • role of lawyers in promoting climate change awareness (16 Jun, London)
  • auditing techniques & initiatives to tackle forced labour (16 Jun, online)
  • UN Guiding Principles 5-year anniversary event (16 Jun, Washington DC)
  • enabling environments for at-risk human rights defenders (17 Jun, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • American Jewish World Service (Senior Policy Advisor, Natural Resource Rights)
  • EarthRights Intl. (Earth Rights Defenders Coordinator)
  • Intl. Committee of the Red Cross (Traineeship in business & human rights)
  • Intl. Labor Rights Forum (Campaigns & Communications Assistant)
  • PVH (Corporate Responsibility Data Analyst, Human Rights)
Further details and 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:
Copyright © 2016 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences   French, German & Spanish updates