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Weekly Update - 12 August 2015

Lead Story
Malaysia: Documentary tells stories of indigenous peoples displaced by Bakun & Murum dams

Borneo Project

  • community members speak of losing livelihoods, access to water & land, inability to send children to school
  • communities currently protesting construction of new dam in Baram
  • we invited Sarawak Energy to respond - the company did not respond to the video, but shared news about the communities resettled by Murum dam

(Photo credit: Borneo Project)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa
From us

From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Latest additions to "Debate the Treaty" blog series
  • Intergovt. Working Group needs to have an inclusive and consultative process, by Linda Kromjong, Intl. Organization of Employers (IoE)
  • human rights defenders must be at core of treaty process and outcomes, by Ben Leather, Intl. Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  • discussion on parent company liability, by Gabriela Quijano, Amnesty Intl.
Corporate Human Rights Benchmark: Consultation deadline extended until 2 Oct
World Bank releases updated draft environmental & social framework; NGOs say protections are inadequate
  • 19 NGOs call for stronger protections for affected communities & environment
Critics urge UN to check human rights records of private sector partners as it looks to companies to fund development & climate change programmes

Inter Press Service

"The rise of public advocacy in business" - examples of companies speaking out on human rights & sustainability issues

Martin Wright, Green Futures Magazine, in Guardian (UK)

Shell plans to leave American Legislative Exchange Council over criticisms of lobbying group blocking climate action


  • advocates welcome move, but raise concerns about the climate change impacts of Shell's continued plans to drill in the Arctic
So. African health activists fear decreased access to medicines for the poor as Indian govt. reviews intellectual property laws (India)

Dem. Rep. of Congo: Report raises concerns about land grabs, inadequate consultations & compensation by Feronia & Unilever

GRAIN & Réseau d’information et d’appui aux ONG nationales

  • we invited Feronia & Unilever to respond - responses provided
Niger: Report highlights concerns about reprisals against human rights defenders working on corporate accountability & transparency

Intl. Service for Human Rights, West Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, Collectif des Organisations de Défense des Droits de l'Homme et de la Démocratie

So. Africa: Western Cape High Court declares debt collecting procedure used by micro-lenders unconstitutional & “an assault on human dignity”

Times Live; South African Human Rights Commission; News24 (So. Africa)

USA: Bill introduced in Congress calls for transparency on trafficking & slavery in corporate supply chains

Foley Hoag

Guatemala: Gunfire attack reported against CALAS, an NGO denouncing abuses by mining companies, in particular by Tahoe Resources

Front Lines Defenders

Bolivia: NGO video highlights social & environmental impacts of Newmont's Kori Kollo mining site to be closed in 2015 (video only available in Spanish)

Colectivo CASA

  • we invited Newmont to respond - response provided (in English)
USA: Labour board rules employer who told workers having a union could hurt its business was making a "veiled threat"

Washington Examiner (USA)

Asia & Pacific
ASEAN economic integration threatens indigenous peoples' rights, according to new report

Asian Indigenous People Pact

India: Thriveni Earthmovers accused of dismissing & threatening trade unionists


  • we invited Thriveni Earthmovers to respond - response provided
Myanmar: Letpadaung villagers briefly detained after confronting Chinese mining company Wanbao over flood responsibility

Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

Japan: Evictions of 160 households reportedly going ahead without consultations to make space for 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium

Unofficial translation of Japanese articles by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Europe & Central Asia
UK: 6 trafficked Lithuanians sue DJ Houghton egg farm over abuses allegedly amounting to modern slavery

Leigh Day; Guardian (UK)

EU adopts action plan on human rights & democracy, including section on business & human rights (2015-2019)

Council of the European Union

UK: Union files pay claim asking Sports Direct to pay a living wage

Guardian (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: Fatal injuries reported at the Suez Canal expansion project

Mada Masr (Egypt)

Leaks confirm Hacking Team tools were used to spy on activists in the Middle East & North Africa

Electronic Frontier Foundation; Mada Masr (Egypt)

Company 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:
  • 2015 Australian Dialogue on Business & Human Rights (Sydney, 19 Aug)
  • opportunities & risks for ethical trade in Ethiopia & Myanmar (London, 27 Aug)
  • Global Child Forum 2015 (Pretoria, 8 Sep)
  • short course on human rights for business people (London, 8 Sep)
  • Law Society workshop on business & human rights (London, 15 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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