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Weekly Update - 1 July 2015

Lead Story
NGOs call for endorsement of Lima Declaration on Tax Justice & Human Rights 
  • declaration already endorsed by over 100 global organizations
  • calls for in-depth reforms to tax policies and practices to bring them into line with human rights standards & principles 
  • includes details on how organizations can endorse the declaration
also on tax avoidance: 

(Photo credit: Ryan Morrison / CC BY-NC-SA)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa
From us

General Assembly of Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers' Association (ICoCA) approves a Certification Procedure
  • significant milestone in development of the ICoCA's role as the independent governance and oversight mechanism for the Code
  • see below our new Private Military & Security Companies Bulletin
Lidl commits to fair wages for workers in its supply chain following Fairfood Intl. petition

Fairfood Intl.

Pharmaceutical firms create new business models to help improve health in developing countries

Guardian (UK)

  • cites steps by AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk
  • MSF says costs for new medicines continue to be too high
Unilever releases 1st human rights report in line with UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
  • comments by former UN Special Representative John Ruggie, John Morrison of Institute for Human Rights and Business
NGOs say private sector role in new UN sustainable development goals must come with human rights provisions

Amnesty Intl., Association for Women's Rights in Development, Center for Economic & Social Rights

So. Africa: Farlam Commission report into Marikana mine massacre released to mixed reactions

Mail & Guardian (So. Africa); Daily Maverick (So. Africa); News24 (So. Africa)

  • finds Lonmin did not sufficiently try to engage with workers on ending the strike or protect its employees
  • includes comments from Lonmin's CEO on steps company has taken since tragedy
  • link to full report provided
Eritrea: Nevsun responds to our invitation to comment re UN report alleging forced labour at its mines

Uganda: Baseline report on oil-producing regions finds people in area concerned discovery of oil could increase land conflicts, income inequality

Observer (Uganda); Economic Policy & Research Centre, Makerere Univ. (Uganda)

Mexico: Woman who lost both hands working at factory supplying LG Electronics receives just USD14,400 in compensation

Guardian (UK); Public Justice

  • we invited LG Electronics to respond; two responses provided, as well as rejoinder from NGO Public Justice which campaigns on behalf of Rosa Moreno
Mexico: 20 workers at Mazda's plant allegedly fired for supporting co-worker who was sexually harassed


  • we invited Mazda to respond; it did not
USA: Google, Amazon, eBay, Sears & Walmart ban sale of Confederate flags after racist Charleston shooting

Independent (UK)

Asia & Pacific
Indonesia: Kalimantan villagers file customary land rights claim for 1000 hectares of land within BHP Billiton’s IndoMet coal mine

Jakarta Globe (Indonesia)

  • community says it is “racing” to preserve its customary land used for rice, rubber & other crops
  • we invited BHP Billiton to respond; response provided
New report alleges labour rights abuses including forced labour, sexual harassment at Walmart garment suppliers in Cambodia, India & Indonesia

Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia); Community Legal Education Center (Cambodia), LIPS Sedane (Indonesia), Society for Labour & Development (India)

  • company & suppliers deny claims of abuse
China: Tens of thousands of Shanghai citizens protest against rumoured construction of paraxylene plant, protestors reportedly taken away by police

Associated Press

  • also available in Chinese
Malaysia: Consulting firm Norconsult says it will be more transparent on role in dam planning in Sarawak, after Norway Govt. mediates OECD Guidelines complaint

Bruno Manser Fund

India: ILO's labour wing questions proposed trade union restrictions

Business Standard (India)

Europe & Central Asia
Swiss law banning private, military & security companies from engaging in combat operations abroad to go into force on 1 Sep 2015

Berne Declaration

UK: National Express bus driver accused of "racist and Islamophobic" tirade - includes company comments

Guardian (UK)

UK: NGOs call on govt. to ensure oil, gas & coal companies comply with climate risk reporting requirements

BusinessGreen (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Two new responses to our outreach questionnaire to construction firms operating in Qatar re working conditions:
  • respones from Besix, Yapi Merkezi Insaat 
  • China Harbour Engineering Company confirmed it will not be responding
Civil society orgs. welcome Orange's renegotiation of contract with Partner Communications following criticism of Partner's support for Israeli settlements

FIDH (Intl. Federation for Human Rights); Orange

  • new agreement allows Orange to end agreement in next two years
  • see previous response from Orange - said it "ultimately wishes to end" agreement
Qatar delays vote on pledge to reform "abusive" worker sponsorship system

Guardian (UK)

From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
New Quarterly Bulletin on corporate legal accountability highlights emerging legal threats to human rights defenders
  • new profiles of legal claims of land grabs in Uganda (against Oil Palm Uganda, in Ugandan court) & Cambodia (before Intl. Criminal Court), updates on other cases
  • also available in French, Russian and Spanish
New Private Military & Security Companies Bulletin highlights their impacts on human rights & recent developments

Checklist for documenting human rights abuses involving companies

ESCR-Net, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • second draft available in 7 languages for comments, implementation
Video interview: Worker-driven social responsibility improving working conditions in Florida's tomato industry
  • interview with Coalition of Immokalee Workers on what makes its Fair Food Program unique
Company responses Non-responses
Business and the protection of human rights defenders (London, 14 Jul)

International Service for Human Rights; Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Other forthcoming events
  • UK multinationals & defending human rights in Peru (London, 7 Jul)
  • consultation: OHCHR Corporate Accountability & Remedy Project (Washington DC, 8 Jul)
  • workshop on human rights and the ICT sector (London, 10 Jul)
  • peacebuilding & business: challenges & ways forward (London, 14 Jul)
  • business ethics training for suppliers in China (Guangzhou & Shanghai, 27-31 Jul)
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 (Communications Intern)

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