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Weekly Update - 5 August 2015

Lead Story

German companies respond to allegations of abuse in Bangladesh garment factories

Clean Clothes Campaign calls on Aldi to act on allegations 1000 workers are owed wages at supplier factories
  • we invited Aldi to respond - responses from Aldi Süd & Aldi Nord provided
  • also available in German
NGOs raise concerns about flaws in TÜV Rheinland's Rana Plaza social audit report

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)

  • we invited TÜV Rheinland to respond - response provided
  • also available in German

(Photo credit: USAID)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia

Middle East & North Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Climate Dialogues: Event series on business & climate justice

Compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • includes reports on expert workshops on climate litigation & corporate action for climate justice; RSVP to our forthcoming event in New York, 23 Sep. 
Corporate Human Rights Benchmark: Consultation on draft indicators now open 
  • seeking feedback from companies, investors, civil society & policymakers - deadline 31 Aug
Click here to find out summary profiles on 116 corporate human rights lawsuits
Interview: Mary Robinson says responsible corporate decision-making can help prevent negative human rights impacts linked to climate change 

Road to Paris

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges member states to include corporate accountability in final post-2015 development agenda

Zambian villagers file lawsuit against Vedanta in UK court over water contamination

Guardian (UK)

Nigeria: Explosion at Agip (part of Eni) oil field kills 13; includes company statement

Premium Times (Nigeria); This Day (Nigeria)

So. Africa: Apartheid victim group calls on Naspers Group (owner of Media24) to establish reparations fund following apology for "complicity in a morally indefensible political regime"

Fin24 (So. Africa)

Malawi: Tobacco industry accused of damaging impacts on environment & food production

Guardian (UK)

  • article includes comments from Philip Morris
NGOs call on companies to improve poor working conditions causing diseases among workers in the Central American sugar industry supply chain

Fairfood Intl., CNV Internationaal., Central American Institute for Social Studies

  • we invited Bacardi & Diageo to respond - responses provided
USA: Obama announces major climate change plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 


Colombia: Expert commentary on challenges & opportunities in developing a Natl. Action Plan on business & human rights


Brazil: Authorities & NGOs accuse Consórcio Norte Energia of breaching agreements for construction of Belo Monte dam causing human rights abuses


  • article includes company comments
Asia & Pacific
India: Rap song calls on Unilever to clear up alleged "toxic" soil caused by mercury pollution from subsidiary factory 14 years ago 

Business Insider; Homegrown (India)

  • activists claim pollution harmed health of employees leading to deaths & illnesses
  • Unilever says independent studies have found no evidence of harm but it continues to take issue "very seriously" 
Malaysia: Migrant worker abuses reported at Felda Global Venture palm oil plantation which supplies companies including Cargill, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble

Wall Street Journal (USA); Rainforest Action Network; Malay Mail Online

  • Felda denies all allegations
  • Cargill, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble say they are investigating claims
China: Beijing chosen to host Winter Olympics 2022, despite criticisms from human rights groups

Los Angeles Times; Human Rights Watch

"How to Defend the Defenders? A Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Burma and Appropriate Protection Mechanisms"

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners & Burma Partnership

Japan: Subaru suppliers accused of abusing foreign workers 


  • article includes statements from companies criticised
Europe & Central Asia
"UK Arms Export Controls Are Broken and the Consequences Are Deadly"

Andrew Smith, Campaign Against Arms Trade in Huffington Post (UK)

Submissions to UK Natl. Action Plan review process

Compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • submissions by Amnesty Intl., CORE, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Institute for Human Rights and Business, UNICEF & others
Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: At least 25 killed & 22 injuried in furniture factory fire

Peninsula (Qatar)

Turkey: 22 workers poisoned by gas leak in textile factory

Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey)

US Govt. human trafficking report highlights positive steps made by Qatar but still places it on Tier 2 Watch List

Gulf Times

Company responses Non-responses
Mary Robinson Speaker Series - Climate justice and business: Human rights from the frontlines to Paris (New York, 23 Sep)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Other forthcoming events:
  • opportunities & risks for ethical trade in Ethiopia & Myanmar (London, 27 Aug)
  • Global Child Forum 2015 (Pretoria, 8 Sep)
  • training course on human rights for business people (London, 8 Sep)
  • supply chain management & the UN Guiding Principles (Copenhagen, 16 Sep)
  • business training on advancing due diligence approach (Frankfurt, 16 Sep)
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 (Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative)

Other current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
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