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Weekly Update - 4 May 2016

Lead Story
China: Foreign NGO management law passed, groups wary of restrictions on activities

Reuters; New York Times

  • rights groups concerned law will be used to crack down on NGOs the govt. dislikes
  • American Chamber of Commerce in China expresses disappointment, says law will be detrimental to "huge number of NGOs" & businesses they collaborate with
  • also provided: FAQs on overseas NGO law (by Shawn Shieh)

(China's Ministry of Public Security, where foreign NGOs must register to continue operations.
Photo credit: Wikipedia) 
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Commentary: "Philippines: Will the next president help the working poor the economy is leaving behind?"

Bobbie Sta. Maria, in Asian Correspondent

Event: "Companies & Climate Change: Legal Liability & Human Rights Challenges After Paris/COP21" (5 May, Washington DC - RSVP required)

Event: "Strategic Litigation on Modern Slavery in Global Value Chains" (17 May, London - RSVP required)
Leaked documents regarding Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership reveal deal's potential impact on public health & environmental protection 

War on Want; BBC; EuroNews

  • Greenpeace, War on Want warn TTIP could allow US companies to undermine EU standards on environment, public health
  • French President Hollande says he will not accept a trade deal "without rules" referring to health, environmental & other standards
NGOs call for greater representation of developing countries & emphasise need for UN Global Tax Body

IPS News; Global Alliance for Tax Justice

Commentary: "Should I stay or should I go?" – explores when & how companies should end business relationships connecting them to adverse human rights impacts 

Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)

Commentary: "Scaling Up Living Wages in Global Supply Chains"

Roel Nieuwenkamp, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct & Marjoleine Hennis, Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to OECD

UN Forum on Business and Human Rights 2016: Call for parallel session proposals (due 31 July)

UN Working Group on business & human rights

  • Forum will take place 14-16 November in Geneva
So. Africa: Mining firms’ Social & Labour Plans, required by law,  fail to address negative impacts, especially disparate impacts on women & the poor, says new report

Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Univ. of the Witwatersrand

  • most SLPs don’t mention consultation with communities to meet their needs, mechanisms by which companies can be held accountable to their commitments
Uganda: NGOs appeal for speedy resolution of court case where locals seek compensation for eviction to make way for oil waste facility

Observer (Uganda)

West Africa: NGOs from 9 countries come together to share community-driven initiatives on business & human rights

Le Sud Quotidien (Senegal)

  • activists cite cases of Bolloré in Sierra Leone, EDC in Cameroon, Shell in Nigeria, petroleum firms in Niger
Honduras: 4 people detained over murder of human rights defender Berta Cáceres; 2 of them allegedly linked to dam construction of company DESA

Guardian (UK)

“Stop Brazil’s Genocide” campaign highlights human rights threats & abuses faced by indigenous peoples, including in context of construction for Rio Olympics

Survival Intl.

  • campaign aims to stop proposed constitutional amendment that would seriously undermine indigenous rights
Latin America: Report on illegally mined gold, criminal activities, and companies' supply chains

Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime; Guardian (UK)

  • we invited Republic Metals to respond; response provided
  • separate statement by Metalor also provided
Asia & Pacific
China: Nearly 500 pupils at Changzhou school fall ill, allegedly due to soil & water contamination from nearby chemical plants

South China Morning Post

India: Villagers protest against Natl. Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) alleging it failed to fulfil promise to employ farmers whose lands are affected by dam
  • we invited NHPC to respond; response provided
Tuna processor Thai Union Group eliminates recruitment fees in its factories to help prevent labour abuses; migrant rights group welcomes move

Thai Union

Malaysia Human Rights Commission says it has no mandate to investigate Laos dam; issues recommendations to govt. & Mega First on rights impacts of operating abroad

EarthRights Intl. & Intl. Rivers

  • NGOs petitioned commission to investigate dam due to devastating impacts on fishing, primary source of locals' food & livelihood
Vietnam: Companies can be prosecuted for environmental crimes under new penal code

Asian Development Bank

So. Korea: Reckitt Benckiser admits it sold a humidifier disinfectant that killed 100 people

BBC News; video by Euronews

Europe & Central Asia
MEPs make recommendations to govts. on strong implementation of EU non-financial reporting directive

Sergio Cofferati & Richard Howitt, MEPs, on EUobserver

Recommendations to European Govts. on content of Natl. Action Plans on business & human rights

European Coalition for Corporate Justice

Reports on tackling trafficking & labour exploitation in Europe

Eurofund; European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

  • overview of regulation of recruitment agencies & other efforts in Europe to deter trafficking & labour exploitation
  • factors leading to exploitation of workers in EU member states
Middle East & North Africa
Qatar: Judge fines Villaggio fire defendants 200,000 Qatari Riyals (USD 55,000) without imposing jail time - 19 people died in 2012 fire

Doha News

Company responses
Forthcoming events:
  • digital trade, economic growth & human rights (5-6 May, Washington DC)
  • workshops: EU Law on business & human rights (6-16 May, Milan)
  • short course on human rights & business (9 May, Milan)
  • responsible sourcing through a human rights lens (10 May, London)
  • 'EU Roadmap to Business and Human Rights Conference' (11 May, Amsterdam)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • China Researcher & Representative, based in Beijing, China (due 16 May)
  • IT & Digital Security Volunteer (rolling application)
Other vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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