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Weekly Update - 18 January 2017

Lead Story
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2017:
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid urges business leaders to stand up for human rights
  • WEF Global Risks Report recognises dangers of "fraying rule of law & declining civic freedoms", but also low awareness of impacts of the trend
  • Oxfam report finds corporations working for the super-rich, leading to human rights abuses in production
An economy for the 99% 
(photo credit: Allan Gichigi/ Oxfam)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Updated tools & guidance on human rights impact assessments
  • includes examples of human rights impact assessments of projects, sectors, trade & investment agreements
New vacancy: Researcher & Representative for Jordan & Lebanon (based in Amman, deadline 9 Feb)
The role of business in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals - new reports

Business & Sustainable Development Commission; Ethical Trading Initiative

Company actions targeting SDGs include:
  • Vodafone mobile plans enabling women in Turkey to find education & work
  • Unilever programmes on hand-washing, safe drinking water & oral health
  • Abraaj Group plans to improve resourcing of healthcare facilities in Africa and South Asia
US court grants access to relevant evidence from Kiobel case for use in lawsuit against Shell in Netherlands over 1995 executions in Nigeria

EarthRights Intl.

Labour rights groups demonstrate in Ireland against Fyffes over alleged anti-union actions in Central America

Fresh Fruit Portal

  • article includes company comments
Business lawyers increasingly concerned with addressing climate change, according to report

A4ID & King's College London

Commentary: Companies with inclusive LGBT policies gain significant economic benefits

Antonio Zappulla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Zambia: UK lawyer representing villagers in water contamination case against Vedanta Resources subsidiary arrested

John Hyde, Law Society Gazette (UK); Leigh Day

Malawi: Tenancy system benefitting investors leaves tobacco farmers "trapped under poverty line", says Labour Minister, citing new study

Nyasa Times

So. Africa: 1 person dead and tension running high over unfulfilled housing commitments by Lonmin in Marikana, NGO reports

African News Agency (South Africa)

Further to 11 Jan Update: RAID’s rejoinder to Acacia Mining’s response re injuries caused by police at North Mara mine, Tanzania  
Haitian farmers file complaint at Inter-American Development Bank for financing Caracol Industrial Park project that caused displacement

Kolektif Peyizan Viktim Tè Chabè; ActionAid; Accountability Counsel

Honduras: Police reportedly intimidate, seek to detain Miriam Miranda & members of OFRANEH, NGO that defends communities displaced by tourism projects

Front Line Defenders

Report links use of armed private security firms to violence in Latin American countries

DCAF (Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces) & UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & Caribbean (UNLIREC)

Asia & Pacific
Indonesia: Korindo declares forest clearing ban & sustainability assessments on its palm oil concessions in wake of NGO pressure


Japan: Mitsubishi Electric referred to prosecutors for 160 hours overtime per month - employee developed mental illness after working excessive hours


Risky waste disposal methods for electronic devices causing major environmental & health concerns in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia Globe

Thailand: Govt. pledges to improve quality of migrant workers’ living quarters

Bangkok Post

Europe & Central Asia
Germany to sanction social media companies for failing to remove hate speech comments


Council of Europe report addresses challenges posed to children's rights by scientific & technological developments in biomedicine

Council of Europe & Uppsala University

Further to 12 Oct Update: Lydian Intl.'s response to Pan-Armenian Environmental Front re environmental impacts of Amulsar gold mine
Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: IFC Ombudsman to investigate complaint about Titan Cement’s environmental & social impacts

Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)

UN Human Rights Council preparing database of companies operating in occupied West Bank & East Jerusalem, following 2016 vote

Middle East Monitor; FT

  • Israel-based NGO Monitor criticises measure as targeting "Jewish-owned" firms
Company responses
OECD launches public consultation for due diligence guidance on responsible business conduct (due 9 Feb)

Direito GV Law Review, UN Brazil and Fed. Univ. of Rio Grande do Sul open call for papers on business & human rights (due 30 Apr)
Forthcoming events:
  • webinar on modern slavery in construction (19 Jan, online)
  • training for business on human rights risk & reporting (25 Jan, Stockholm)
  • emergent standards & expectations on responsible business (26 Jan, online)
  • complaints mechanisms & the Alto Maipo project, Chile (26 Jan, Washington DC)
  • roundtable on human rights in the big data era (27 Jan, Brussels)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (Researcher & Representative, Jordan & Lebanon)

Other current vacancies:
  • Physicians for Human Rights (Internships)
  • Centre for Human Rights, Univ. of Pretoria (Director)
  • ECOFACT (Legal Analyst for ESG & Reputational Risks)
  • Intl. Institute for Environment and Development (Senior Researcher)
  • WITNESS (2 posts: Operations Associate; US Program Coordinator)
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 © 2017 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

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