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Weekly Update - 13 July 2016

Lead Story
Human rights defenders under attack in the Americas: 2 protesters against dams assassinated in Honduras & Brazil

Aida-Américas;; Front Line Defenders 

(Lesbia Yaneth Urquía Urquía above left, Nilce de Souza Magalhães above right
photo credits: COPINH & Brazil Nicinha MAB)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Blog: Lessons from Brexit for business and human rights

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

  • "If our societies want to cleave to principles of freedom, human dignity, and fairness, then markets have to demonstrate they can deliver these values."
Global Network Initiative report finds Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Yahoo compliant with GNI principles

Global Network Initiative; Human Rights Watch

"The New Corporate Playbook" - how business fights environmentalists

Katie Redford (EarthRights Intl.); and corporate lawyer's response (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP)

Palestinian family sues Exxelia Technologies in France for alleged complicity in war crimes

Middle East Monitor; RightsasUsual

New commentaries on proposed business & human rights treaty: New edition of toolkit: “Addressing Security and Human Rights Challenges in Complex Environments”

Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) & Intl. Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Zambia: Human Rights Commission releases national baseline assessment on business and human rights, urges govt. to take steps to implement the Guiding Principles

Zambia Human Rights Commission

Uganda: Locals affected by Guangzhou Dongsong Energy's project accuse company of dishonesty regarding land leases & compensation

Oil in Uganda

  • comments by company's lawyer included in article
Brazil: NGO reports social & environmental damage related to the logistical-industrial Açu port complex, linked by a pipeline to Minas-Rio mine

Homa-Centre for Human Rights & Business of the Law School of the Federal Univ. of Juiz de Fora, Brazil

  • allegations include impacts on water supply, housing & traditional activities of local populations
  • we invited the companies involved in the project to respond: responses provided from Prumo Logística, Anglo American, Ferroport, CODIN
Colombia: Swedish NGO criticises links between Vattenfall and alleged abuses by Cerrejon’s coal operations


  • allegations against Cerrejon include: involuntary resettlement, inadequate consultation processes, water scarcity 
  • report includes comments by Vattenfall
  • we invited Cerrejon to respond - response provided (only available in Spanish)
Mexico: Constellation Brands brewery´s expansion could harm local population's access to water says local mayor


  • article includes comments by company
Asia & Pacific
Cambodia: Global Witness report maps corporate interests of Prime Minister’s family; encourages intl. firms to avoid business with entities linked to corruption & rights abuses

Global Witness

India: Godrej Industries VP discusses moral imperative & benefits of supporting LGBT movement for companies

Institute for Human Rights and Business

Major palm oil companies dissolve Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge in favour of govt. initiative; environmental groups condemn move

Straits Times

Papua New Guinea: Group seeks response from Barrick subsidiary to grievances of victims of violence in company's mine site

Akali Tange Association (ATA); Barrick Gold

  • ATA submitted a letter to Barrick's Porgera Joint Venture grievance mechanism, alleging that over 250 individuals had been injured, killed, or raped at or in the vicinity of the mine 
  • we invited Barrick Gold to respond - response provided
China: 2 journalists who document protests on social media detained by authorities

China Change; Committee to Protect Journalists

Afghanistan: Global Witness says mining of precious stone fuels conflicts, Chinese companies are in position to help end them

China Dialogue; Global Witness 

Europe & Central Asia
UK NCP releases follow up on complaint against G4S alleging involvement in Israeli abuses against Palestinians

UK NCP for OECD Guidelines; Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights; G4S

  • NCP "considered that it [G4S] referred to the Final Statement in a selective way that was misleading".
  • statements by G4S and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights also provided
EU Commission announces new plans to tackle tax abuse & prevent terrorism financing

CCH Daily 

Uzbekistan: Forced labour victim files complaint against IFC over its loan to Indorama Kokand Textile

Human Rights Watch; The Diplomat

Middle East & North Africa
Syrian refugees and access to work

UNHCR; Associated Press; New York Times; 3RP Syria Crisis

  • UNHCR and partner orgs. find high levels of poverty among refugees in Middle East host countries; call for greater action on expanding economic opportunities
  • Jordan extends waiver period for work permit fees
Opinion: Companies can use their leverage to protect the rights of migrant domestic workers in the Gulf

Vani Saraswathi, on Institute for Human Rights and Business

2 new papers on the rights of migrant workers in the construction industry, with a focus on the Gulf
Company responses Non-responses
Call for contributions for 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed treaty (by 1 Sep)

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

IFC seeking input on how to better protect those who complain about its projects (consultation open until 15 Jul)

Reminder: UN Forum on Business & Human Rights parallel event proposals (due 31 Jul)
Forthcoming events:
  • 'World Investment Forum 2016: Investing in Sustainable Development' (17-21 Jul, Nairobi)
  • course on business, human rights & CSR (starts 18 July, online)
  • workshop series on business & children's rights (19 Jul, New York)
  • discussion: partnerships to end forced labour in supply chains (19 Jul, New York)
  • debate on oil consumption, corruption & human rights abuses (19 Jul, London)
  • conference on corporate governance & responsibility (20-22 Jul, Singapore)
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 (Middle East Research & Outreach Assistant)

Other vacancies:
  • Center for Health, Environment & Justice (Internships)
  • European Coalition for Corporate Justice (Policy Internship)
  • Global Witness (Senior Campaigner, Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Human Rights Watch (Associate, Business & Human Rights Division)
  • Ranking Digital Rights (Policy & Communications Analyst)
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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