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Weekly Update - 2 September 2015

Lead Story
Nestlé faces lawsuit in US federal court alleging use of fish sourced from Thai company using slave labour

Associated Press; Hagens Berman; Bloomberg

  • Nestlé says forced labour “has no place in our supply chain"
  • class action lawsuit brought by pet food purchasers
  • follows similar lawsuits against Costco, CP Foods over prawn supply chain
Thai fishing boat.jpg
(Photo credit: Philippe Gabriel CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Latest additions to our "Debate the Treaty" blog series: 
  • The treaty process can serve as a catalyst for effective reforms at domestic levels, says Geneviève Paul, FIDH
  • Limiting the application of the treaty to certain corporate entities could leave victims without access to remedy, says Tom Mackall, Sodexo 
Mary Robinson Speaker Series - Climate justice and business: Human rights from the frontlines to Paris (New York, 23 Sep)

Final reminder: We are recruiting an Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative (deadline: 4 Sep)
Search over 50 business & human rights recommendations made by and to states under UN's Universal Periodic Review process

Commentary: "The impact of enhanced corporate transparency on access to remedy for victims of corporate human rights abuses"

Dr. Anil Yilmaz Vastardis, Univ. of Brighton

  • with reflections on recent US court ruling allowing Alien Tort Statute case against ExxonMobil to proceed
General Mills launches new climate change commitment, calls for collective action, highlights risks to global food supplies

General Mills; Huffington Post (USA)

Arms firm Sig Sauer sued in Germany over “illegal export” of weapons to Mexico used to kill at least 12 people, one of them an activist against femicide

DW (Germany)

Research paper: A global framework convention could be best approach to regulate companies & increase human rights protection

Tori Loven Kirkebø, Univ. of Oslo

Dem. Rep. of Congo: Regional body certifies over 140 mines in eastern DRC as "conflict-free"

Enough Project

So. Africa: Community seeks court order to halt operations of Pilanesberg Platinum Mines claiming it is adversely impacting livelihoods

Business Day (So. Africa)

"What can a South Sudan brewery teach us about business in conflict zones?"

Guardian (UK)

Nicaragua: Inter-American Human Rights Commission to investigate claims of human rights violations of ethnic groups for canal construction

Hakai Magazine

  • canal project led by HKND Group (Hong Kong Nicaragua Development Group)
USA: DuPont plant in W. Virginia producing Teflon poisoned water in nearby towns and farm, caused birth defects in workers' children 

Huffington Post (USA)

  • firm has settled related lawsuits; article includes statement by DuPont
Mexico: NGO says supermarket Chedraui sells expired products that put consumers’ health at risk


  • we invited Chedraui to respond - response provided
Asia & Pacific
Law professors raise concerns about external review of remedy mechanism for rapes at Porgera mine, Papua New Guinea  

Professor Tyler Giannini, Harvard Law School & Professor Sarah Knuckey, Columbia Law School

  • we invited Barrick Gold & Endo Rights, the assessment team, to respond - responses provided 
Indonesia: West Papua communities protest against ANJ Group & subsidiary, alleging land grabs & lack of consultation 

Awas Mifee (Indonesia)

  • we invited ANJ Group to respond - response provided
Greenpeace Indonesia: "Human cost of coal power: How coal-fired power plants threaten the health of Indonesians"

Jakarta Globe; Jakarta Post; Greenpeace Indonesia

Myanmar: Letpadaung villagers briefly detained after calling for Wanbao Mining to provide relief for flooding they allege was aggravated by the firm's operations

Irrawaddy, US Campaign for Burma

Condom manufacturer, Ansell, faces protests in Australia over its sacking of striking workers in Sri Lanka

IndustriALL; The Age (Australia)

  • article includes company comments
Europe & Central Asia
ABP, Netherlands' largest pension fund, divests from pharma company Mylan after it emerged a US prison held stocks of one of its drugs that can be used to carry out the death penalty


Middle East & North Africa
Iraq: New labour law allows freedom of association & prohibits child labour, discrimination, sexual harassment

IndustriALL; Equal Times

  • some concerns remain: law prohibits trade union pluralism
"Egypt's aluminium industry thrives on child labour"


Qatar Airways eases policy of restricting female cabin crew from getting married & pregnant following accusations of discrimination by ILO

The National (UAE); Equal Times; Intl. Transport Workers' Federation  (ITF)

  • ILO investigation and calls for further reforms continue
Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • Global Child Forum 2015 (Pretoria, 8 Sep)
  • short course on human rights for business people (London, 8 Sep)
  • panel discussion: social responsibility & the extractives industry (London 10 Sep)
  • legal workshop on business & human rights (London, 15 Sep)
  • launch of Law Society business & human rights programme (London, 15 Sep)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
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