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Weekly Update

Lead Story

Guardian (UK); Leigh Day; Amnesty Intl.; Financial Times; Shell

Independent experts estimate that more than 4,000 barrels of oil were spilled every day before the pipe was clamped.Photo credit: © CEHRD
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

Technology firms confront growing challenges from govts. over online freedom of expression

Wall Street Journal; New York Times

  • examples include crackdown on internet freedom in China, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey; refers to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube (part of Google)
Report by ECA Watch says projects supported by export credit agencies "often associated with human rights abuses" 
  • case studies on projects in Brazil, Colombia, India
  • we invited principal companies & ECAs named in report to respond:
  • Van Oord response provided
  • Export Development Canada, Vale indicated they will respond - we will include their responses in next week's Update
  • we will indicate next week whether Atradius, Reliance Energy, State Bank of India respond
UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly & association questionnaire for businesses, govts., civil society (deadline: 31 Jan)
  • seeks views on obstacles & good practices in context of natural resource exploitation
Commentary: Brands are increasingly taking a public stance on social issues including gender equality, racial issues & climate justice

Jonah Sachs, on Guardian Sustainable Business

  • refers to Coca-Cola, Huffington Post, PepsiCo & others
Article analyses role of National Action Plans in implementing human rights norms & assesses existing plans

Damiano de Felice & Andreas Graf, in Journal of Human Rights Practice

Nigeria: Local community protests Chevron's alleged failure to provide compensation for oil spill damages

Daily Independent (Nigeria)

  • we invited Chevron to respond - we will include its response in next week's Update 
NomoGaia publishes update to human rights risk assessment of Tullow Oil's activities in Uganda
  • includes company's policy to manage identified human rights risks
Uganda: Families displaced for oil waste treatment facility construction to seek legal redress

New Vision (Uganda)

Mexico: Guns illegally supplied to Mexican states by German gunmaker Heckler & Koch were allegedly used by police to kill protesters, students

Deutsche Welle

  • we invited Heckler & Koch to respond - response provided
  • articles also available in German & Spanish
Colombia: Court sentences 16 palm oil businessmen to prison over paramilitary ties, involvement in forced displacement & terror among civilians

Colombia Reports

Brazil: Authorities find forced labour & other abuses at tobacco facilities linked to Alliance One, China Brasil Tabacos, Philip Morris, Souza Cruz, Universal Leaf (only available in Portuguese)

Repórter Brasil

  • article includes comments by companies
Asia & Pacific
India: "Seeds of debt" documentary by Danwatch raises concerns about loans provided to farmers to produce crops for Syngenta 
  • we invited Syngenta to respond - response provided challenging allegations
Myanmar: 7 charged for protesting against Letpadaung mine, days after a villager is killed in clash with police

AFP, Myanmar Times

Japan: Govt. panel finds TEPCO senior managers can be prosecuted for Fukushima nuclear disaster, but Public Prosecutor declines to bring charges

Sankei Shimbun (産経新聞)

  • unofficial English summary of original Japanese article provided
South Korea: Disabled workers face modern slavery, violence on remote salt farms

Associated Press

China: Construction firm hired individuals with HIV to harass residents into leaving their homes

Agencies; Al Jazeera

Europe & Central Asia
Rheinmetall may avoid German arms controls on exports to abusive govts. with investment in So. African munitions firm

Wall Street Journal

Germany: Businesses, churches & cities turn off lights to protest anti-Islam rallies

Guardian (UK); mashable

Middle East & North Africa
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights reports on labour, environmental concerns at Titan Cement project funded by Intl. Finance Corporation
  • we invited Titan to respond - response provided
Turkey loses 15,000 workers to work-related accidents in 13 years

BGN News

Company responses
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre appoints Karen Hudlet Vázquez as Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher & Representative
Forthcoming events:
  • challenges & opportunities for business after human rights impact assessments (London, 4 Feb)
  • course on business & human rights developments (Copenhagen, 23-24 Feb)
  • final EJOLT Conference: "Building the Road to Environmental Justice" (Brussels, 3 Mar)
  • responsible sourcing summit (West Hollywood, 3-4 Mar)
  • capacity building workshops on business & human rights (Aarhus, 9-10 Mar)
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:
Colombia: A la cárcel 16 empresarios de palma por complicidad con paramilitares en abusos y desplazamientos

Verdad Abierta (Colombia)

Cuestionario del Relator Especial de la ONU sobre el derecho a la libertad de reunión pacífica y de asociación - dirigido a empresas, estados y ONGs (fecha límite 31 de enero)
  • Busca recabar información en el contexto de la explotación de recursos naturales
El Centro de Información sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos (CIEDH) nombra a Karen Hudlet Vázquez como Investigadora y Representante para México, Centroamérica y el Caribe
Nigeria : Shell s’engage à verser 70 millions d'euros à la communauté Bodo touchée par les fuites de pétrole de 2008

France 24

Myanmar : Les manifestations contre la mine de Letpadaung font un mort et une dizaine de blessés

Francetv info & AFP

Sénégal : Les populations riveraines présentent leurs doléances et inquiétudes à la société Grande Côte Opérations qui s'engage à les soutenir

Agence de Presse Sénégalaise

Nicaragua : Les ONG s’inquiètent de l’impact de la construction du canal interocéanique sur les peuples autochtones et l’environnement

Journal de l'Environnement (France)

Questionnaire du Rapporteur spécial de l'ONU sur le droit de réunion pacifique et d’association pour les entreprises et la société civile (date limite : 31 janvier)
  • Pour obtenir des avis sur les obstacles et les bonnes pratiques dans le contexte de l'exploitation des ressources naturelles
Rép. du Congo : L'Initiative pour la transparence dans les industries extractives (ITIE) recommande des cadastres pour une bonne gestion des ressources

Comité exécutif de l'ITIE-Congo

Exposition « Derrière le code-barres – 30 dessins internationaux » sur le travail forcé

Ressources Humaines Sans Frontières

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