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Weekly Update - 22 February 2017

Lead Story
France: National Assembly adopts law requiring human rights due diligence by multinationals in all operations & supply chains

European Coalition for Corporate Justice

  • law requires large companies to publish due diligence plan from 1 Jan 2018 detailing measures taken to prevent abuses
  • failure to publish will enable victims or other concerned parties to bring matter before the court; companies could be fined up to EUR 10 million
  • civil society welcomes historic law despite its limitations, calls on other countries to develop similar legislation

(photo credit: UNIDO)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Blog: Are Investors Taking Action to Eradicate Forced Labour and Human Trafficking from Their Portfolios?

Felicitas Weber, KnowTheChain Project Lead

We're hiring a Deputy Director, North America (based in New York, or possibly Washington DC, deadline 14 Mar)
John Ruggie, and NGOs submit critiques of Thun Group discussion paper on human rights responsibilities of the financial sector

Banktrack, Greenpeace, Oxfam & 32 others; John G. Ruggie, Harvard Univ., former UN Special Representative on business & human rights

  • Ruggie highly critical of Thun Group's paper
Report of 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed treaty

Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights

European Parliament approves CETA free trade agreement between EU & Canada

Corporate Europe Observatory; Associated Press

  • NGOs raise concerns about human rights & environmental implications
US law firm asks judge to delay order compelling it to give documents to Dutch court in lawsuit against Shell for abuses in Nigeria


Commentary: "An elusive justice - holding parent companies accountable for human rights abuse"

Joe Westby, Amnesty Intl., in openDemocracy

So. Africa: Mineworkers & gold companies likely to settle silicosis lawsuits

Daily Maverick

Kenya: NGOs urge World Bank to ensure KenGen geothermal project adequately safeguards local community's livelihood

Narasha Community Development Group & others

Nigeria: Court orders former oil minister to pay State USD 153 million allegedly siphoned from Nigerian Natl. Petroleum

African Mining Brief 

Honduras: New map promotes transparency on mining concessions

Oxfam America

  • consultation & information are key for communities’ decisions over resources
Ecuador: Court rules in favour of Afro-descendants & indigenous communities in first “rights of nature” lawsuit, transfers responsibility from oil palm companies to State

Julianne A. Hazlewood and the Communities of La Chiquita & Guadualito

Further to 1 Feb Update: Centro para la Democracia rejoinder to Enel response, re criminalisation of critic of El Quimbo hydroelectric project

Further to 8 Feb Update: Vale statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act
  • supportive statements from 12 other firms provided
Further to 8 Feb Update: UNI Global Union rejoinder to Prosegur response, re labour rights issues in Colombia, India, Peru
Asia & Pacific
Indonesia: HSBC tightens lending standards to palm oil industry following Greenpeace report on its links to environmental destruction

Financial Times

Australia: Govt. launches formal enquiry into establishing UK style modern slavery legislation

Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee, Joint Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Philippines: Killing of lawyer Mia Mascariñas-Green brings total number of environmental campaigners murdered in the last 15 years to 112


Thailand: UN experts raise labour, freedom of expression & other concerns on cases of rights defender Andy Hall & 14 migrant poultry workers; govt. responds

UN; Govt. of the Kingdom of Thailand

Sri Lanka: Chinese-funded Hambantota port project suspended after domestic opposition over land-grabbing concerns


Europe & Central Asia
UK: Govt. fines nearly 700 companies for failing to pay minimum wage

Guardian (UK); WalesOnline

UK: "Business and human rights - a seven-step guide for managers"

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Middle East & North Africa
Turkey: Protests against Cerattepe mine allegedly met with increasing violence

Middle East Eye

Turkey: Child labour widespread in agricultural, construction & textile sectors

Hurriyet Daily News

Company responses Non-responses
Call for Abstracts: 'Corporate Accountability, Business & Human Rights: an African Perspective', 28-30 Jun, Johannesburg (due 24 Feb)

Reminder: UN Working Group on business & human rights requests information for reports to UN Human Rights Council (due 28 Feb)

Responsible Mining Index draft methodology released for public comment (due 24 Mar)

OHCHR invites States to provide information on State-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms (due 31 May)

Intl. Commission of Jurists launches advisory panel to provide guidance on company grievance mechanisms
Forthcoming events:
  • webinar on how technology brands can tackle human trafficking (23 Feb, online)
  • global modern day slavery & supply chain summit (24 Feb, London)
  • breakfast briefing on LGBT issues & ethical trade (28 Feb, London)
  • webinar: women's economic justice & corporate power (28 Feb, online)
  • side-event on the private sector & civic space (1 Mar, Geneva)
  • launch of multi-stakeholder engagement for Japanese NAP process (1 Mar, Tokyo)
  • '2017 Global Responsible Sourcing Summit' (1-2 Mar, Los Angeles)
  • conflict mineral compliance & supply chain transparency (2-3 Mar, Amsterdam)
  • 'Corporate Human Rights Benchmark' launch (13 Mar, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Deputy Director, North America at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (based in New York, or possibly, Washington DC, deadline 14 Mar)

Other current vacancies:
  • Advocates for Intl. Development (Pro Bono Projects Intern)
  • Center for Business & Human Rights at Leonard N. Stern School of Business (Deputy Director)
  • Coalition for Human Rights in Development (Program & Communication Associate)
  • Fair Food Standards Council (2 posts: Director of Complaint Resolution; Financial Analyst)
  • UNICEF UK (Children's Rights & Business Specialist)
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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