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Weekly Update - 12 Apr 2017

Lead Story
EU Agency for Fundamental Rights makes recommendations for European govts. on improving access to remedy for business-related human rights abuses

Agency issues 21 "specific opinions" to:
  • make judicial remedies more accessible by lowering barriers including via legal aid, and by easing burdens of proof & requirements of standing
  • enhance effectiveness of judicial remedies, especially in extraterritorial situations
  • ensure effective criminal justice remedies, and effective non-judicial mechanisms including OECD National Contact Points & non-state-based remedies
  • provide transparent comparisons of remedies & data on companies; ensure effective National Action Plans; develop network of experts on good practice; incentivise govts. to require due diligence
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre appoints Marti Flacks as Deputy Director North America

Modern Slavery Act proposal for Australia:

Modern Slavery Registry Advisory Committee recommends Australian Act include mandatory due diligence & disclosure, procurement incentives, strengthened access to remedy for victims

committee includes Unicef UK, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 7 other NGOs

Australia must legislate to prevent modern slavery in our supply chains - cites evidence from experience of UK Act, emerging support of Australian business

Amy Sinclair and Felicitas Weber (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre) in Guardian sustainable business

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson calls on private sector to respect human rights in actions on sustainable development & climate change

Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice

US Govt. suspends enforcement of law mandating company reports on avoiding "conflict minerals" in their supply chains, despite support from Apple, Intel & other companies

Reuters; Human Rights Watch; Boston Common Asset Management & Responsible Sourcing Network; Washington Post

  • human rights groups & investors testify on importance of maintaining the law
Amnesty Intl. report alleges Ferrovial & Broadspectrum complicit & profiting from Australian Govt's abuse of refugees held on Nauru
  • company responses provided from Ferrovial, Wilson Security (subcontractor of Broadspectrum)
  • only 6 companies report no gender pay gap: L'Oreal, Transurban Group, Adobe Systems, Deutsche Boerse, Origin Energy and Enbridge
Commentary: Why jobs in special economic zones won't solve the problems facing the world's refugees

The Conversation (UK)

Nigeria: Shell & Eni knowingly paid over USD 1 billion in bribes to acquire valuable offshore oil block, says new report

Global Witness, Finance Uncovered; Independent (UK)

  • amount paid is greater than national health budget & greater than what is needed to respond to current famine
  • Eni & Shell face criminal charges over the deal
  • statements by Eni, Shell provided
Africa: Video documents how land acquisition for commercial investment impoverishes local communities, with case studies from Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia

Institute for Poverty, Land & Agrarian Studies

Zambia: Communities affected by Mopani & Konkola copper mines live in abject poverty, are sickened by on-going pollution from mines, says church group

Jesuits European Social Centre 

Guatemalan court acquits security guard accused of killing protester at Hudbay Minerals mine


Chile: Activists face death threats following report linking avocado production to loss of water by rural communities


  • with statements by ASOEX fruit industry group in Chile, and by Aldi, Dansk supermarkets that purchase the avocados
Colombia: Swedish energy firm Vattenfall investigates human rights impacts linked to coal mining operations

Pax for Peace

Over 75 US legislators urge Trump Administration to support Honduran activists facing violence for protecting land & environment from dam, mining, agribusiness projects

Global Witness

Asia & Pacific
Indonesia: Court revokes license of Chinese company Mikgro Metal Premium for damaging environment & livelihood of nearby communities

Asia Pacific Report

Scandinavian banks linked to violations of indigenous peoples’ rights in Borneo including deforestation, dispossession of traditional owners

Fair Finance Guide Sweden & Swedwatch

  • we invited AAK, Nordea, SEB, Skandia, BHP Billiton, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to respond; responses provided
Nepal: Govt's hydropower plans may result in widespread human rights abuses including escalating conflicts & irreversible losses to indigenous peoples

Cultural Survival Quarterly

India: Uttar Pradesh cracks down on acid sales as attacks continue to rise; acid attacks are a form of violent assault often directed at women

Asian Correspondent

India: Jammu Chamber of Commerce & Industry says it will launch "Identify & Kill" campaign against Rohingya refugees, as CSR

Kashmir Life

Europe & Central Asia
Case Study: Why German business supports, trains and hires Syrian refugees

Harvard Business School Cold Call Podcast

Amnesty Intl. welcomes alignment of Scottish trade & investment policies with human rights norms


UK: Anti-Slavery Commissioner says he is disappointed with "weak" quality of company reports under Modern Slavery Act

Kevin Hyland OBE, Anti-Slavery Commissioner 

  • says companies should provide detailed analysis of risks & mitigation strategies
Middle East & North Africa
What are the business drivers behind the exploitative recruitment of migrant labour for the Gulf construction industry? - new study

NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights 

  • finds construction companies able to recruit millions of low-wage migrant workers without paying costs of recruitment - borne by workers instead
Qatar: First report from audit of workers' rights on World Cup construction finds some progress - concerns remain over recruitment fees, working hours

Reuters; Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy; Impactt; Doha News 

Jordan: Private sector workers lead rising numbers of protests for decent working conditions in 2016

Jordan Times

Company responses Non-responses
Invitation to submit parallel session proposals for UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (due 26 May)

UN Working Group on business & human rights

Forthcoming events:
  • seminar: impacts of conflict mineral laws (13 Apr, Washington DC)
  • international business & human rights conference (19 Apr, Amsterdam)
  • webinar: law enforcement and new media solutions (20 Apr, online)
  • conference: business tackling modern slavery & forced labour (25-26 Apr, London)
  • masterclass: business reporting on human rights & modern slavery (2 May, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Anna Liberadzki:  
Current vacancies:
  • Danish Institute for Human Rights (2 posts: Business & Human Rights Adviser, Business & Human Rights Intern)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (Senior Knowledge and Learning Advisor)
  • Focus on Labour Exploitation (Project Officer)
  • Global Network Initiative (Policy Director)
  • Institute for Human Rights and Business (Project Coordinator)
  • International Senior Lawyers Project (In-Country Consultant -Yangon, Myanmar)
  • Tax Justice Network (Head of Operations)
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:
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