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Weekly Update - 21 September 2016

Lead Story
Intl. Criminal Court Prosecutor widens remit to cases on destruction of environment, exploitation of natural resources & illegal dispossession

Global Witness; Global Diligence; Nadia Bernaz, Middlesex University; Guardian

(International Criminal Court building: Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Blog: Andy Hall’s case shows the best & worst of corporate behaviour on civic freedoms

Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Action Guide for information & communications technology companies on addressing forced labour in the supply chain


Blog: Internet shutdowns: Bad for human rights, bad for business

Colette G. St-Onge, Digital Campaigns Officer, ShareAction

Job posting: Senior Researcher on labour rights (1 year maternity cover, deadline: 14 Oct) 
Investors can play pivotal role in developing people-centred response to climate crisis by integrating climate justice into their environmental, social & governance frameworks

Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice

UN Summit for Refugees & Migrants, and Leaders Summit on Refugees (19-20 Sep) Multi-stakeholder initiatives should provide clear guidance & tools for companies to help improve access to remedy for victims of corporate abuse - new report

International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

"Why Corporations Should Learn to Love Civic Activists"

Mark P. Lagon & Katharine Nasielski, Freedom House

Latest news on National Action Plans on business & human rights:
Botswana: NGOs say De Beers, govt. & ruling party in "opaque" dealings that fuel tax evasion by the conglomerate  

Open Society Initiative for South Africa (OSISA), Southern Africa Resource Watch, African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting

  • we invited De Beers to respond; response provided
So. Africa: 3 "illegal" miners die in disused Langlaagte mine; trade union calls for decriminalisation of independent small scale mining

Daily Mail; Congress of South African Trade Unions

Ethiopia: Olympic athlete says "more than a thousand" killed for protesting against allocation of their land to investors

Washington Post

Peru: Peasant leader Maxima Acuña attacked by hitmen who were hired by mining firm Minera Yanacocha, according to Acuña's daughter


  •  statement by Minera Yanacocha only available in Spanish
USA: California passes law to protect janitorial workers from sexual assault & labour abuses

KQED News; Associated Press

Asia & Pacific
Thailand: Court finds migrant rights defender Andy Hall guilty of criminal defamation

BBC; New York Times; Reuters

  • Hall had contributed to a report alleging mistreatment of migrant workers by Natural Fruit Company
  • he has received a 3 year suspended jail term & been fined 150,000 baht (USD 4,300)
China: Report cites a number of factories suspected of producing Disney products for pollution

Institute of Public and Environmental  Affairs

  • we invited Disney to respond; response provided
Haze from forest fires may have caused over 100,000 premature deaths in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore in 2015, says new study


  • fires largely set to clear land for large-scale plantations
China: Labour group says workers at Apple's supplier Pegatron are working longer hours for less pay amid release of new iPhone 7

Washington Post, China Labor Watch

  • statements from Apple & Pegatron included
US to lift remaining economic sanctions & restore trade benefits to Myanmar; labour & rights groups, jewellery firm Leber Jeweler oppose the move

AFL-CIO; Radio Free Asia; Fortify Rights; Los Angeles Times; Reuters; Foreign Policy; BBC; Human Rights Watch

India: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo will block prenatal gender-determination test & product ads to avoid facilitating female foeticide


Europe & Central Asia
World Bank violates intl. law by providing loans linked to forced labour to Uzbek Govt., says report

International Labor Rights Forum; Just Style

Russia: Indigenous & environmental advocates concerned over impacts on environment, livelihoods, food sources of Norilsk Nickel's plant spill

Guardian; Norilsk Nickel

  • statement by Norilsk Nickel included
Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: Court orders asset freeze of prominent human rights defenders and organizations

Mada Masr

UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking urges Kuwait to abolish the “Kafala” System to decrease exploitation of migrant workers

United Nations News Centre

Higher wages in the Gulf drive worker migration despite restricted rights

The Economist

Company responses Non-responses
Register for UN Forum on Business & Human Rights - programme now available

Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expert Meeting on Climate Change & Human Rights: Registration open (closes 23 Sep)

Equitable Origin seeks input on EO100 standard for responsible energy development (due 30 Sep)

Call for contributions to 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed binding treaty on business & human rights (extended to 30 Sep)

Call for comments: UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework’s assurance guidance (due 31 Oct)
"Syrian refugees in supply chains: Exploitation or opportunity?" (26 Sep, New York)

Webinar: Business, Human Rights Defenders and Civic Space: A Safe and Enabling Operating Environment for All (28 Sep)

Other Forthcoming events:
  • 2016 Engaging Business Forum (22-23 Sep, Atlanta)
  • legal training programme, incl. business & human rights (23 Sep, Edinburgh)
  • business tackling deforestation, focus on Asia (27-28 Sep, Singapore)
  • CSR Asia Summit 2016 (28-29 Sep, Hong Kong)
  • course on the UK Modern Slavery Act (4 Oct, register by 26 Sep, Manchester)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (Senior Researcher on labour rights)
  • UNICEF UK (Children's Rights and Business Specialist)
  • Verité (Emerging Markets Research Program Consultant)
  • CDA Collaborative Learning Projects (Executive Director)
  • Fair Foods Standards Council (3 posts: Human Rights Attorney; Human Rights Investigator; Human Rights Financial Investigator)
  • Center for Constitutional Rights (Advocacy Program Manager)
  • Global Witness (Campaign Leader, Myanmar Extractive Industries)
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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