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Weekly Update - 6 May 2015

Lead Story
"Evicted & Abandoned": Investigative report concludes World Bank repeatedly fails to follow its own resettlement policies

Intl. Consortium of Investigative Journalists & Huffington Post

  • Bank’s records show its projects displaced at least 3.4 million people worldwide in 2004-13, forcing them from homes, taking land or damaging livelihoods
  • with articles on impacts of Bank-supported plantations in Ethiopia, power plant in India, forestry project in Kenya, gold mining in Peru
  • Bank acknowledged its oversight has been poor, and president admits "deep concern" over how it has applied resettlement policy

(photo credit: Sami Siva ICIJ)
Asia & Pacific

Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa
Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights launches global online consultation on Accountability and Remedy Project - deadline for input: 1 Aug
  • aim is to collect information from as many jurisdictions as possible on access to remedy for corporate rights abuses
  • will be used to formulate recommendations to governments
Economist Alex Cobham of Tax Justice Network urges post-2015 UN development goals to tackle illicit financial flows, ensure tax revenue invested in development

Huffington Post

Report by union on Rio Tinto alleges "vast difference" between what company says and what it actually does


  • includes claims of anti-union behaviour, failures in health & safety, and in respect of indigenous rights, in many countries
  • we invited Rio Tinto to respond - response provided
Labour Day 2015 - workers' rights actions around the world marking the day

compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

UN Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas calls for suspension of EU-US trade agreement (TTIP) talks over fears investor dispute mechanism would undermine democratically agreed policies, including on environment, health, labour rights

Guardian (UK)

Data tool developed by Ariba (part of SAP) helps companies detect & avoid slavery in supply chains (USA)

So. Africa: BASF shareholders challenge company to share responsibility for 2012 Marikana massacre at Lonmin mine, as one of Lonmin's two largest customers

Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany

  • we invited BASF to respond - response provided
Further to last week's Update: Vale responds to protests by grassroots women's groups in Southern Africa over coal companies' alleged negative social, health & environmental impacts

South African Civil Society Information Service

  • Vale responds regarding its Moatize coal mine in Mozambique
Ghana: 3 workers at China Gold Resources' subsidiary die after inhaling toxic fumes

news24 (So. Africa)

  • company says an investigation has been launched
USA: BP faces new legal claims relating to 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill

El País (España); (USA)

  • 25,000 Mexican fishermen file lawsuit over loss of livelihoods
  • judge allows clean-up workers to bring claims over health issues
Brazil: Illegal loggers accused of killing Ka’apor indigenous health worker as a response to closure of a logging track

Survival Intl.

USA: Consumer group sues Cigna over alleged discrimination against people with HIV & AIDS

Associated Press

Asia & Pacific
Japan: "The worst internship ever" - video on exploitative system for migrant workers

Vice News

  • programme will be expanded to build infrastructure for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Oxfam Australia asks ANZ Bank to adopt zero tolerance approach on land grabs following criticism of its operations in Cambodia

Indonesian mayor declares Bandung "human rights city", business & human rights tools used for audit checks 

Association for Intl. Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST)

Myanmar: Villagers protesting gold mine say army threatened them

Karen News (Myanmar)

Europe & Central Asia
Inaction by Western govts. & businesses has played "key role" in "breeding ‘culture of impunity’ for free speech abuses" in Azerbaijan

Intl. Bar Association 

UK: Employment Tribunal orders Sberbank to pay £3 million over alleged sexual harassment 

Daily Mail (UK)

  • company says it is appealing the decision
NGOs invite civil society orgs. to sign open letter calling for stronger EU conflict minerals regulation (by 6 May)

Amnesty Intl., Global Witness & others

Middle East & North Africa
Egyptian rights groups file complaint with IFC over environmental & labour impacts of Titan Cement in Alexandria

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights; Egyptian Center for Civil and Legislative Reform; Association for Health and Environmental Development

Morocco: Argan oil co-operatives supplying cosmetics firms improve women's economic, educational opportunities, but risk of exploitation by men in community remains

Guardian (UK)

Qatar: Labour Minister says he hopes new system for migrant workers' employment will be in place by year end

Associated Press; Jordan Times

  • rights groups say govt. reforms proposed in May 2014 fall short of abolishing the exploitative kafala system
Company responses Non-responses
Call for papers on business & human rights (deadline: 20 May)

Associação Nacional de Direitos Humanos, Pesquisa e Pós- Graduação, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre 

  • for publication in online journal ARACÊ – Direitos Humanos em Revista
  • articles in English, French, Portuguese Spanish accepted
2 internships at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (deadline: 25 May)
  • Research & Projects Intern
  • Legal Research Intern
Forthcoming events:
  • seminar on responsible corporate conduct in Mekong region (Phnom Penh, 8 May)
  • conference on aligning corporate sustainability with Sustainable Development Goals (Bangkok, 20 May - register by 10 May)
  • webinar on corporate human rights due dilligence (online, 11 May)
  • conference on global transformation (Bonn, 12-13 May)
  • African regional conference, Global Reporting Initiative (Johannesburg, 12-13 May) 
  • webinar on business & human rights benchmarking (online, 12 May)
  • stakeholder forum on US National Action Plan (Washington DC, 13 May)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
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