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Weekly Update - 22 March 2017

Lead Story
India: POSCO says it will no longer pursue steel project in Odisha

Business Standard, Wire, Indo Asian News Service, Counter Currents

  • since Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2005 project faced opposition from locals, many of whom were betel leaf cultivators
  • for people who lost their land, little hope of recovering livelihood
Villagers protesting against land acquisition for POSCO steel plant (Photo by Sandeep Pattanaik)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
"No scope for complacency": Corporate Human Rights Benchmark ranks human rights performance of 98 companies
  • ranks top companies from three sectors: agricultural products/food & beverage; apparel; extractive industries
  • small number of companies lead in each industry, but most receive low scores
  • new commentaries on how human rights ranking can incentivise companies to improve, by Wall Street Journal, Fibre2Fashion
Guatemala: Coalition of communities, NGOs present report on attacks against human rights defenders opposing hydroelectric projects to Inter-American Commission
  • includes responses of Renace, Oxec
EU Parliament adopts binding law on conflict minerals

EurActiv (Belgium)

ILO revises Tripartite Declaration on multinational enterprises
  • includes new principles to achieve decent work for all
"Putting the 'S' in ESG": Report on measuring human rights performance for investors - existing approaches & recommendations

NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights

Banks can help combat human trafficking by reporting suspicious financial activity

Royal United Service Institute, Reuters

Commentary: Tax is a "societal good", not just a business expense

Sorley McCaughey, Christian Aid Ireland, in

So. Africa: DRDGold mine directors face potential USD 770,000 fine & jail term for failure to rehabilitate closed mine

Saturday Star (South Africa)

  • could set "game-changing" precedent for the responsibilities of mining directors who leave polluted sites
​​Kenya: Report alleges telecommunication firms complicit in abuse of privacy by govt. agents; includes Safaricom's comments

Privacy International (UK)

So. Africa: Securitas guards protest against dismissal a year after student protest at University of West Cape; say students forced them to leave & not report for work

Ground Up (South Africa)

Brazil: Judge suspends lawsuit against BHP Billiton & Vale over dam disaster following settlement agreement with govt.

The Australian

Mexico: Children reportedly working in poor conditions as garbage pickers at Coca-Cola recycling plant


  • we invited Coca-Cola to respond; response provided
Relatives of Colombians killed by paramilitary groups file complaint against Chiquita executives in US

Courthouse News

Honduras: Global Witness & partners target of "smear campaign" following report on attacks against land & environmental defenders

Global Witness

Asia & Pacific
Philippines: Govt. issues policy guidelines against use of unjust labour contracts; groups say new order fails to address job insecurity, does not fulfill Duterte’s campaign promise

Philippine Star, Inquirer

Indonesia: Wilmar allegedly tries to cover up labour abuses exposed in 2016 Amnesty report; company denies allegation

Amnesty International, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thailand: Govt. agency files complaints against people expressing health concerns over power plants on social media


Europe & Central Asia
German G20 Presidency: Human Rights Watch recommendations on human rights in global supply chains

Norway: Govt. pension fund drops 10 firms producing or using coal with negative climate & human rights impact


Uzbekistan: Elena Urlaeva, activist campaigning against forced labour, detained in psychiatric institution

Anti-slavery International, Thomson Reuters Foundation, International Labour Forum

Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: As govt. plans mega coal power projects, little information available including on social, environmental impact assessments
  • we contacted companies reportedly involved in these projects: Marubeni and Tractebel responded; Dongfang and Harbin Electric have declined to respond; General Electric and Shanghai Electric have not yet responded - we will indicate their response in a future update
ILO defers decision on whether to appoint Commission of Inquiry on Qatar's adherence to core Convention

Guardian, Morning Star, Doha News, Reuters

  • includes statements by ILO, Amnesty Intl, Sharan Burrow of ITUC
Jordan: Working & living conditions of migrant workers & refugees

Tamkeen Fields for Aid

Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • conference: Exploring Litigation as a Business and Human Rights Remedy (24 Mar, Galway)
  • seminar: Enhancing corporate responsibility through mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence (28 Mar, Brussels)
  • conference: East Africa Oil and Gas (28 Mar, Washington DC)
  • webinar: OECD paper on responsible business conduct for institutional investors (28 Mar, online)
  • conference: RightsCon 2017 (29-31 Mar, Brussels)
  • event: UK Modern Slavery Act: one year on (30 Mar, London)
  • event: UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights & Climate Change (30 Mar, 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:
  • Bangladesh Accord Foundation (2 posts: Communication Assistant; Research Assistant)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (2 posts: Programme Consultant; Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser)
  • Fair Food Standards Council (2 posts: Director of Complaint Resolution; Financial Analyst)
  • Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association (Executive Director)
  • International Human Rights Program at Wellspring Advisors (Program Officer)
  • Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Center for Business & Human Rights, New York Univ. (Deputy Director)
  • Social Accountability Intl. (Director of Finance & Administration/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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