Working with everyone to advance human rights in business.
View this email in your browser

Weekly Update - 7 September 2016

Lead Story
New guide on holding UK companies accountable in English courts for human rights abuses abroad

CORE Coalition; London Mining Network

  • aims to help communities, workers, & civil society organizations understand the process for legal action

(photo credit: CORE Coalition & London Mining Network)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
"Tax avoidance" information hub updated & improved
  • latest news & examples of company advances
  • now available in Spanish
New company statements added to UK Modern Slavery Act Registry (features 571 statements)

Event: "Syrian refugees in supply chains: Exploitation or opportunity?" (26 Sep, New York - please RSVP)

Company Action Platform: Update your company's information or add a new response
  • currently seeking updated information from companies & new company responses to be added to database
World leaders discuss action on climate change & tax avoidance at G20 summit in Hangzhou; urged to "civilise capitalism"

Financial Times; Intl. Adviser; Oxfam Intl.; Business Green

Commentary: Shift reflects on progress & challenges 5 years since UN Guiding Principles

Caroline Rees & Rachel Davis, Shift

Positive trend of global brands committing to chemical transparency, reducing use of hazardous chemicals in supply chains

3BL Media

  • companies highlighted: HP, Nike, SC Johnson, Target, Walmart
Rights-based approach to climate policy is required for successful mitigation - Quaker UN Office report

Investigative series examines inequalities & injustices in intl. investment arbitration


So. Africa: Security concerns for community & mineworkers at Richards Bay Minerals following killings & violent protests

City Press

Nigeria: Community members allege rights abuses by soldiers "attached to Total"; company denies allegations

Punch Newspaper

Ethiopia: EU official denies allegations land project protecting investors while disadvantaging locals


Colombia: Chiquita, Coca-Cola, Drummond amongst 50+ companies to face charges in transitional justice tribunal for supporting paramilitary AUC group

Colombia Reports

  • allegedly financed group that killed dozens of labour rights defenders between 1997 & 2006
  • also available: Chiquita, Coca-Cola, Drummond lawsuits
USA: Native American groups protest Energy Transfer Partners’ pipeline construction over impacts on environment, graves & other cultural sites

Democracy Now!; CBS News; Associated Press; Amnesty Intl. USA; Tribune News; EarthJustice

  • guards use dogs, pepper spray in confrontation with protesters; Chairman of Standing Rock tribe calls for investigation
  • court temporarily halts part of pipeline construction; also includes company statement on confrontation
Brazil: Intl. Trade Union Confederation alleges impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff will benefit companies at expense of rights & democracy
Asia & Pacific
Myanmar migrant workers file lawsuit in Thai court against Betagro over forced labour allegations



Vietnam: Thousands protest claiming no compensation following Formosa Plastics’ pledge to pay damages for fish kill

Radio Free Asia

Bangladesh: Labour rights advocate Kalpona Akter among recipients of Alison Des Forges Award for extraordinary activism

Tribune (Bangladesh)

  • recognised for her work improving conditions for garment workers
Chinese investments in Myanmar to face tougher laws on social & environmental impacts

China Dialogue

Commentary: Tax reform in Indonesia should be in line with intl. human rights standards

Nurkholis Hidayat, in Jakarta Post

Europe & Central Asia
UK: Sports Direct agrees to offer staff on zero-hours contracts guaranteed hours & ensure minimum wage

Guardian (UK)

  • decision follows Guardian investigation into working practices & questions by MPs
  • related: Hermes Real Estate introduces anti-slavery clauses in tenancy contracts - its retail clients include Sports Direct
UK: Liberty & 40 other orgs. demand inquiry after G4S wins discrimination helpline contract citing concerns over human rights record
  • includes dossier by Liberty on G4S's human rights record
  • we invited G4S to respond - response provided
European Parliament Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility Richard Howitt appointed chief executive of Intl. Integrated Reporting Council
Middle East & North Africa
Lebanon: Increased fines for companies employing migrant workers without proper permits

The Daily Star

Yemen: Union wins wrongful dismissal case against Norwegian oil company DNO, following sacking of 200 staff via text message

IndustriALL Global Union

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launches monthly Arabic-language newsletter
Company responses Non-responses
Call for contributions to 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed binding treaty on business & human rights (extended to 30 Sep)

Registration open for 2016 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (14-16 Nov, Geneva)
"Syrian refugees in supply chains: Exploitation or opportunity?" (26 Sep, New York - please RSVP)

Other forthcoming events:
  • Intl. Maritime Human Rights Conference (14 Sep, London)
  • workshop on ethical purchasing practices (14 Sep, London)
  • Intl. Tax Conference 2016 (15 Sep, Jakarta)
  • what can we do about slavery in seafood supply chain? (15 Sep, London)
  • scholars conference on business & human rights (16-17 Sep, Seattle)
  • legal training programme, inc. business & human rights (23 Sep, Edinburgh)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • CORE Coalition (Advocacy & Communications Manager)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (Membership Services Manager)
  • OECD (Consultant, Natl. Contact Points peer reviews)
  • Oxfam (Private Sector Policy Adviser, Labour Rights)
  • UNICEF UK (Children's Rights & Sports 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:
Copyright © 2016 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences   French, German & Spanish updates