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Weekly Update - 15 February 2017

Lead Story
Myanmar: Report finds garment industry initiatives have not delivered needed positive impact on labour

Action Labor Rights, Labor Rights Defenders & Promoters and SOMO; Guardian (UK)

(photo credit: Action Labor Rights, Labor Rights Defenders & Promoters and SOMO)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: 
OECD releases due diligence guidance for responsible supply chains in garment & footwear sector
  • Ethical Trading Initiative welcomes guidance, recommends it to all garment & footwear companies
Typhoon survivors & civil society call on 47 "carbon majors" to collaborate with Philippines Human Rights Commission's inquiry into their responsibility for climate & human rights impacts

Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Human rights lawyers petition Intl. Criminal Court to investigate Australia & companies over alleged abuses in offshore refugee detention centres

Financial Times

  • Ferrovial, Wilson Security are contractors at remote camps on Nauru, Manus Island
Swiss court rejects claim filed by Netherlands Trade Union Confederation against Fifa over alleged failure to protect migrant workers in Qatar

Doha News

Businesses must make greater effort to engage with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says Oxfam
Kenya: Google partners with govt. agencies to curb hate speech during elections

Standard Digital

Alternative Mining Indaba calls for domestication of Africa Mining Vision; communities impacted by mining say govts. must do more to protect them

Economic Justice Network, in Mail & Guardian; Daily Maverick

  • includes declaration with civil society demands to govts., companies
Poor & marginalised communities in Africa face land threats from mining, infra-structure, renewable energy - report underlines urgency of securing tenure rights

Rights & Resources Initiative

highlights include: 
  • criminalisation & violence against communities seeking to protect their lands, including in Liberia, Kenya
  • gains by indigenous peoples in Cameroon & other countries
  • "companies are slow to implement commitments and change business models"
USA: Govt. plans to review, possibly suspend, requirements for companies to disclose use of minerals from conflict zones

Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable & 20 other NGOs; Human Rights Watch; Globe & Mail; Reuters

Colombia: Prosecutor charges 200 companies with crimes against humanity for financing paramilitary groups


Mexico: Experts & activists promoting soda tax to prevent obesity reportedly under surveillance via NSO Group software

New York Times

  • tax would affect Coca-Cola, Pepsi
Asia & Pacific
Philippines: Environment minister expands crackdown on mining & water pollution with cancellation of further 41 mineral production sharing agreements in watershed zones


Indonesia: HSBC accused of supporting environmental destruction by financing companies linked to unsustainable palm oil; HSBC responds

Greenpeace; Reuters

  • also includes response by palm oil firm named in report, Indofood Agri Resources
China: Environmental NGOs pay 1.89 million RMB after losing lawsuit against chemical companies who dumped waste that allegedly caused students illnesses

People's Daily

India: Responsible Business Index indicates companies becoming more responsible, but still "a long way to go"


China: Civil society calls on Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to develop an accountability mechanism

Bank Information Center

Europe & Central Asia
Azerbaijan: Abuses of oil workers’ rights include dangerous working conditions, lack of union rights, health & safety violations, says NGO report

Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization (OWRPO)

  • we invited companies highlighted in the report to respond
  • responses from BP, Maersk Drilling
  • Altus Intervention, Azersu, Azfen, Global Energy Azerbaijan, McDermott Intl., Qinterra, Schlumberger, SOCAR did not respond
Netherlands: Parliament adopts child labour due diligence law for companies; Senate approval pending

India Committee of the Netherlands

UK: Gig economy sees rise in precarious work & tax shortfall, Trade Union Congress reports
Middle East & North Africa
Report alleges investments of Europe’s largest pension funds in Israeli settlements


  • Statens Pensjonsfond Utland, Arbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension, Alecta Pensionsförsäkring responded to Danwatch
  • we invited ABP and PFZW to respond - responses provided
Jordan: NGO reports poor working conditions for migrant workers in garment factory in Al Hassan Industrial Zone

Tamkeen Center

Egypt: Arrest & dismissal of protesting workers at IFFCO Egypt

Mada Masr; Human Rights Watch; Daily News

  • we invited IFFCO to respond; it did not
Bahrain: GP Zachariades Construction faces renewed worker unrest over delayed payments - 1 protesting worker dies when security forces shoot tear gas at protesters

Bahrain Mirror; The Pioneer; Construction Week

Company responses Non-responses
Call for applications: Venice Academy of Human Rights on the topic of economic, social, & cultural rights as an answer to rising inequalities (deadline 19 Apr)
Forthcoming events:
  • online webinar on UK Modern Slavery Act disclosure process (16 Feb, online)
  • discussion: state obligations in the context of business activities (21 Feb, Geneva)
  • panel discussion on modern slavery in the corporate world (21 Feb, London)
  • "Global Modern Day Slavery & Supply Chain Summit" (24 Feb, London)
  • symposium on Japan's Natl. Action Plan process (1 Mar, Tokyo)
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 vacancies:  Other current vacancies:
  • Center for Business & Human Rights at Leonard N. Stern School of Business (Deputy Director)
  • Advocates for Intl. Development (Pro Bono Projects Intern)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (Senior Industrial Relations Advisor)
  • Oxfam Intl. (East Africa Extractive Industries Program Advisor)
  • UNICEF UK (2 posts: Head of Private Sector Policy & Advocacy; Head of Children's Rights & Business)
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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