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Weekly Update - 21 December 2016

Lead Story
New National Action Plans (NAPs) on business & human rights

(Adewale Adeyemo at US NAP launch; credit US Treasury Dept.)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Videos: Interviews with Brazilian women leaders on the Doce River dam burst & responsibility of the companies involved

Julia Mello Neiva, Senior Brazil, Portugal & Portuguese-speaking Africa Researcher

  • operated by Samarco, joint venture of Vale & BHP Billiton; includes co. statements
Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin: Challenges in securing accountability for "haze" pollution in Indonesia Op-ed: "Hong Kong lags behind in the battle against modern-slavery"

Lowell Chow, Senior East Asia Researcher, in South China Morning Post

Current vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
German court dismisses Peruvian farmer's lawsuit against RWE over climate change 

Climate Change News

  • summary profile of lawsuit available
  • plaintiff will likely appeal
Open letter to EU Commissioner expresses concern that EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement & impact assessment fail to protect human rights

ALTSEAN Burma & Intl. Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Institute for Human Rights and Business publishes list of top 10 business & human rights issues for 2017

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights invites comments on draft scoping paper on state-based non-judicial mechanisms (due 30 Jan) Blog: "Breaking through the impasse - Corporate human rights defenders at the UN Forum"

Gilles Goedhart, Senior Human Rights Policy Officer at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands

So. Africa: Govt. announces USD 70 million in compensation to victims of Lonmin Marikana shootings; lawyers representing victims say govt. compensation update "hollow"

Herald Live; Bloomberg Markets; Talk Radio 702

Tanzania: Civil society groups call for respect of women's rights in "male dominated" extractives sector


Kenya: Fly 540 airline sued for failure to accommodate persons with disabilities

Business Daily

USA: Tech firms Apple, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Microsoft, Twitter, Uber say they will not help US Govt. build registry of Muslims if asked


  • Oracle is silent
Ecuador: Conflict escalates between govt. & Shuar indigenous leaders opposing Explorcobres (EXSA) mining project

Reuters; Ecuador

  • 6 detained, accused of attempted murder of police officer
  • project part of Corriente Resources - joint venture of Tongling and China Railway Construction
Nicaragua: Workers of textile company Tecnotex on trial after protesting for improved working conditions

Stronger Unions; IndustriALL

USA: In lawsuit against Uber over age discrimination & whistleblowing, claims made that employees used data to track users


Asia & Pacific
Thailand: Investigation exposes severe labour rights abuses by rogue overseas fishing fleet in pet food export supply chain

Greenpeace; Guardian (UK)

China: Authorities clamp down on media reporting of air pollution in Chengdu allegedly caused by petrochemical plants

Guardian (UK); Hong Kong Free Press

Thailand: Rights groups welcome order to shut Chatree gold mine, after 300 people tested positive for arsenic & manganese


  • mine run by Akara Resources, subsidiary of Australia's Kingsgate Consolidated
Bangladesh: "We are nothing but machines to them" - harmful working conditions in garment factories persist despite some improvement in factory building safety

Slate Magazine

  • article also highlights precarious, low-pay work at brands' retail outlets in USA
Europe & Central Asia
Russia: Repression of indigenous peoples by govt. & business interests commonplace, says member of UN Working Group on business & human rights

Pavel Sulyandziga, member of UN Working Group on business & human rights

  • highlights 5 cases of indigenous communities affected by repression
  • we invited the companies mentioned to respond - response from Yuzhnaya provided
  • Petropavlovsk, Rostec Corp., Surgutneftegaz did not respond
  • original article available in Russian
UK: Landmark settlement of GBP 1 million for six Lithuanians trafficked & forced to work on DJ Houghton chicken farm

Guardian (UK); Leigh Day 

UK: Undercover investigation exposes exploitative working conditions at JD Sports; includes company comments

Channel 4; Guardian (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Turkey: "Fertile lands - Bitter lives" - Exploitation of Syrian refugees in seasonal farm work

IRIN; Development Workshop (Ankara)

Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • course: human rights & Asia, includes business & human rights (9-20 Jan, Seoul)
  • online course on decent work in global supply chains (starts 12 Jan, online)
  • initial reflections on new US Natl. Action Plan (12 Jan, Washington DC)
  • jobs, wages & skills for inclusive industrial growth (18 Jan, London)
  • roundtable discussion on human rights in the big data era (27 Jan, Brussels)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Administration & Programme Support Officer at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (based in London, deadline 11 Jan)

Other current vacancies:
  • Accountability Counsel (2 posts: Communications Director; Research Associate)
  • Fair Food Standards Council (2 posts: Director of Complaint Resolution; Financial Investigator)
  • Human Rights Watch (Business & Human Rights Interns Spring & Summer 2017)
  • The Carter Center (Program Manager, Extractive Industries Governance Program)
  • Verité (Senior Director, Program Strategy & Impact)
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:
Copyright © 2016 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

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