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Weekly Update - 29 June 2016

Lead Story
Brexit's potential impacts on business & human rights

compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • includes commentaries on impacts on EU-based human rights protections
  • focus on labour rights, climate change & environment, corporate transparency

(Photo credit: YouTube)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Draft resolution at UN Human Rights Council on protecting human rights defenders who work for corporate accountability falls short

Intl. Service for Human Rights (ISHR); Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Collection of positive company initiatives addressing children's rights in humanitarian crises
  • compilation in response to UNICEF's call for submissions open until 8 Jul
  • includes examples from C&A, H&M, IKEA, Microsoft, Next, Nike, PwC, Uniqlo/Fast Retailing, UPS
Jobs: New feature on our website allows users to submit announcements for business & human rights posts
Access Now writes to 6 more tech & telco firms regarding steps to safeguard digital rights
  • responses by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!
  • AT&T, Twitter are preparing responses; we will include them in a future Update
  • Facebook has not yet responded; we will indicate in a future Update whether it responds
US Supreme Court rejects appeal by So. Africans against IBM & Ford for alleged support of apartheid


  • summary profile of lawsuits also available here
New prospects for holding companies legally accountable for social justice impacts of climate change - report highlights developments in Asia, Europe, Pacific

Climate Justice Programme

Complaints over labour rights abuses against Starwood re Ethiopia & Maldives, PepsiCo re India before US Natl. Contact Point for OECD Guidelines - report on outcomes
  • 2 of the first cases to be mediated by US NCP
  • Starwood, IUF union federation reached agreement
New survey to benchmark corporate leadership on modern slavery

Hult Intl. Business School & Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

  • will highlight case studies of good practice & identify benchmarks to measure leadership
So. Africa: High Court rejects gold mining companies’ appeal in silicosis class action

Business Day Live 

Tanzania: For Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor project, World Bank waives protection of indigenous communities - NGOs say they will be vulnerable to eviction

Huffington Post

Uganda: Report alleges few companies in oil sector implementing UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights

IPIS & ActionAid Uganda

Brazil: Civil society groups appeal to UN criticising agreement over dam burst for lack of participation & adequate remedy for communities impacted

Conectas Direitos Humanos, Fórum Capixaba de Entidades em Defesa da Bacia do Rio Doce, Justiça Global & others; CIDSE

  • we invited BHP Billiton, Samarco, Vale to respond - responses provided
Mexico: Cirque du Soleil & Grupo Vidanta tourist complex will have negative impacts on livelihoods, environment & land tenure, according to locals


  • we invited companies to respond to allegations - Grupo Vidanta's response provided; Cirque du Soleil referred us to Grupo Vidanta's response
USA: Report alleges Deutsche Bank ignores exploitative labour in its portfolio of hotels & casinos

Fatma Marouf, Univ. of Nevada - Las Vegas, Sameer Ashar, Univ. of California - Irvine School of Law & Jennifer Rosenbaum, Yale Law School

  • includes company response & rejoinder from Facing Finance
Brazil: Concerns raised by UN Working Group during Dec 2015 country visit, including deaths of human rights defenders

Conectas Direitos Humanos; UN Working Group on business & human rights

Asia & Pacific
Philippines: Supreme Court suspends operations of 5 mining firms pending resolution of environmental & livelihood complaints


  • companies are Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines, Eramen Minerals, LNL Archipelago Minerals, Zambales Diversified Metals, Shangfil Mining & Trading
Singapore business alliance formed to tackle haze & deforestation impacts of palm oil cultivation in the region

Channel News Asia

  • includes Ayam Brand, Danone, IKEA, Unilever, Wildlife Reserves Singapore 
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank urged to uphold respect for human rights & improve transparency

Joshua Rosenzweig, Amnesty Intl., in The Diplomat

6 Vietnamese civil society groups urge development partners to attach rights conditions to loans, citing harassment of activists, land & labour rights abuses

Radio Free Asia

  • letter sent to World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank, EU, govts. of Australia, Japan, USA
Taiwan: China Airlines faces more strike action as staff demand better pay, work conditions

China Post

Europe & Central Asia
Netherlands: Report calls on govt. & recruitment agencies to improve working conditions for Polish migrant workers vulnerable to abuse & exploitation

Centre for Research on Multinatl. Corps. (SOMO) & FairWork

Serbia: Journalists face smear campaigns after exposing corruption by govt. officials related to private companies


Middle East & North Africa
"Responsible Business in Occupied Territories" - with case studies on Iraq, Western Sahara, West Bank

Harvard Intl. Review

Norway's "oil fund" excludes Cairn Energy, Kosmos Energy from portfolio over exploration activity in Western Sahara

Reuters; Norwegian Council on Ethics, Govt. Pension Fund Global

"New survey sheds light on construction practices in the Gulf" - Commentary on Business & Human Rights Resource Centre online platform

David Segall, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights

Company responses
Call for papers: “Human Rights and Tax in an Unequal World" (deadline: 1 Jul)
Forthcoming events:
  • summer school on ethics & health law (30 Jun - 8 Jul, Rotterdam)
  • business & human rights course (4-5 Jul, London)
  • course on human rights in intl. commercial relationships (4-11 Jul, Bucharest)
  • So. African perspectives on UN treaty on business & human rights (5 Jul, Pretoria)
  • tools to improve working conditions in global supply chains (7 Jul, London)
  • putting the UN Guiding Principles into practice (7-8 Jul, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • Access Now (Middle East & North Africa Policy Analyst)
  • EarthRights Intl. (3 posts: Cambodia Coordinator; Myanmar Legal Director; Vietnam Coordinator)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (Country Programme Consultant, Turkey)
  • Fair Labor Association (Vice President)
  • Oxfam America (Senior Advisor, Campaigns & Advocacy)
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.

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