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Weekly Update - 5 April 2017

Lead Story
Ranking Digital Rights: 22 telecommunications, internet & mobile companies evaluated on commitments to freedom of expression & privacy
  • top scoring companies include Google, Microsoft, AT&T and Vodafone
  • results reveal inadequate disclosure on freedom of expession & privacy across the board, especially by mobile companies
  • recommendations include providing clarity around why access to services may be blocked or constrained; making credible commitments on security

(Credit: Ranking Digital Rights)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
"Diamonds are not all girls' best friends" - Communities in Zimbabwe say impacts of diamond mining have worsened since operations merged into state-owned ZCDC

Joy Mabenge & Karen Hudlet (BHRRC) and Nyaradzo Mutonhori & Tafadzwa Dhlakama (Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association)

Commentary: Is it time for a Global Modern Slavery Agreement?

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

Invitation to submit parallel session proposals for UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (due 26 May)

UN Working Group on business & human rights

  • concept note on UN Forum's access to remedy theme now available
Community perspectives on World Bank's accountability mechanism reveal limitations in access to remedy

Intl. Human Rights Law Clinic, Univ. of California, Berkeley

  • study examines cases brought to mechanism over 11 years; in-depth analysis of cases in Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Peru
Video: Interview with Peruvian plaintiff bringing lawsuit against German energy company RWE over climate change impacts & potential flooding from glacial lake


Ghana: Communities protest against Indian salt mining company Kensington for drilling water underground, allegedly destroying local water sources

Citi News (Ghana)

Sudan: Environmental activist questioned by state security over involvement in protests against alleged use of cyanide in gold mining by at least 11 companies

Africa Times

Zambia: Environmental management agency issues compliance & environmental restoration orders to Konkola Copper Mines for "polluting the environment over 10 times the statutory limit"

Lusaka Times (Zambia)

USA: Supreme Court to decide whether corporations can be sued over complicity in human rights abuses abroad

New York Times; RightsasUsual

  • lawsuits allege Arab Bank provided financial services allowing Palestinian militant organizations to engage in terrorist activities in Israel; summary available
Brazilian airline Gol agrees to pay USD 1.3 million to Amazonian tribe following 2006 plane crash that polluted their land & disturbed cultural practices

BBC News 


USA: Facebook requires that women & ethnic minorities account for at least 33 percent in external legal teams representing the company

New York Times

El Salvador: Legislative Assembly turns decade-old moratorium on metal mining into law; ban aims to protect clean water supplies

Institute for Policy Studies; New York Times

Asia & Pacific
ILO report raises inadequacies in Thai Govt.'s efforts to observe the Forced Labour Convention & to protect migrant workers from abuse in fishing industry; sets out action points

Intl. Labour Organization; Guardian (UK)

  • report follows concerns by intl. trade unions 
China: Official inspectors find large proportion of inspected companies falsifying data on air pollution


Cambodia bans export of human breast milk; UNICEF welcomes move citing trade as exploitative of poor & vulnerable women

Straits Times (Singapore)

Indonesia: Protests escalate in support of govt. move to nationalise Freeport-McMoran mine; company threatens arbitration if regulations are implemented

New York Times

Commentary: China’s overseas investment in resources is detrimental to the environment & is set to accelerate as Trump administration pulls out of Trans-Pacific Partnership

William Laurance, Yale Environment E360

Europe & Central Asia
Greece: European Court of Human Rights awards EUR 576,000 in damages to Bangladeshi fruit pickers who were shot at by employers for requesting their witheld wages

Human Rights Europe

UK: Parliament committee calls for new laws to prevent child labour & other abuses linked to British companies

UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights; CORE Coalition

Study discusses influence by corporate actors on G20 agenda, raises concerns that key messages overlook environment & human rights 

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung; Global Policy Forum

Middle East & North Africa
Israel & Palestine: Rights groups seeks assurance from FIMI Opportunity Funds that it will seek remedy for human rights abuses by Israeli state services 

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

  • we invited FIMI opportunity Funds to respond; the company has not yet responded
Company responses Non-responses
Call for proposals: Human rights impacts baseline study to help oil-affected communities in Niger Delta track progress of Nigerian Govt. clean-up programme

Centre for Environment & Human Rights

Forthcoming events:
  • seminar on conservation measures used by mining companies & other sectors (8 Apr, London)
  • conference on intl. business & human rights (19 Apr, Amsterdam)
  • webinar on law enforcement & new media solutions (20 Apr, online)
  • conference: how business can tackle modern slavery (25 Apr, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found herePlease send relevant event information to Anna Liberadzki:  
Current vacancies:
  • Bangladesh Accord Foundation (2 posts: Communication Assistant; Research Assistant)
  • Danish Institute for Human Rights (Business & Human Rights Adviser)
  • Institute for Human Rights and Business (Project Coordinator)
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 © 2017 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

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