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Weekly Update - 26 November 2014

Lead Story
  • migrant workers from Asia & Africa exposed to physical abuse, forced labour, confiscation of passports, unpaid wages
  • Abu Dhabi Dialogue taking place 26-27 Nov; NGOs not invited to participate
(photo credit:  ITUC/Mathilde Gattoni)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

More than 1,500 registered for UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (Geneva, 1-3 Dec); livestream available next week
  • also provided: updated programme & parallel events
  • follow civil society commentaries via #UNForumWatch
Eritrean refugees file claim in Canada against Nevsun over allegations of forced labour at Bisha mine, Eritrea

Bloomberg; Canadian Centre for International Justice; Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • also provided: case profile of lawsuit
Signet Sterling, Tiffany & other leading jewellers support Enough Project's efforts to source gold from conflict-free mines in central Africa - includes video

Veterans file class action lawsuit in USA against KBR over lung disease allegedly caused through service in Afghanistan & Iraq

PBS Newshour

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil announces stronger disciplinary actions against non-complying members

Vaidehi Shah, Eco-Business

"Managing Congo's Natural Resource Wealth" - video & blog on the 5th Mary Robinson Speaker Series event in New York City

So. Africa: Report says Lonmin's claim it could not afford to honour agreement to build worker housing is undermined by Intl. Finance Corporation loan

Ground Up

  • we invited Lonmin to respond; response provided
Kenya: Farmer says contrary to earlier promises, Dominion Farms project has impoverished locals
  • we invited Dominion Farms to respond but it did not
Frontline, ProPublica investigation examines relationship between Firestone and Liberian warlord Charles Taylor - Firestone responds
  • includes interview with Christine Bader & Arvind Ganesan
UK MPs release fact finding report documenting labour abuses on US Tobacco farms

Blade (USA)

Commentary: Standard behind US Court dismissal of Alien Tort case against Occidental & AirScan over alleged complicity in bombing in Colombia “sufficiently vague for corporations to hide behind”

Foreign Policy (USA)

Asia & Pacific
Tracking foreign investment in Myanmar: A human rights imperative amid the sobering reality of promised reforms

Irene Pietropaoli & Bobbie Sta. Maria, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • new project will create public database of foreign companies operating in Myanmar, and their human rights commitments
  • related commentary: Land use policy & draft investment law should protect rights & people over profits
Myanmar: Groups petition Thai Natl. Human Rights Commission over increased militarisation, forced labour, other abuses linked to Salween dam projects

Nation (Thailand)

Investigation report by Japan International Cooperation Agency examiner on social impacts of Thilawa Special Economic Zone Project, Myanmar
  • report acknowledges some negative impacts related to resettlement, but does not indicate non-compliance with JICA Guidelines
  • villagers say report is “inadequate” and “overly optimistic”
China: Thousands protest against seizure of land for planned coal-fired power station over pollution & compensation issues; 2 protestors detained by police

Radio Free Asia

Europe & Central Asia
Russia: Muscovites complain over emissions allegedly caused by Gazprom oil refinery; criminal proceedings initiated against company

Moscow Times

Privacy International highlights surveillance industry role in spying on citizens in Central Asia - includes company comments

UK: Investors support inclusion of supply chain reporting in Modern Slavery Bill

Rathbone Investment Management; Hermes Investment Management & others

  • also provided: Transparency in Supply Chains Coalition releases new briefing on Modern Slavery Bill
Middle East & North Africa
Qatar to host 2019 World Track Championships - human rights groups denounce decision & raise labour rights concerns

Al-Akhbar; BBC; Guardian; Muslim News

Iran: Thousands rally against legislative attack on workers' rights

Payvand Iran News

Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • 3rd annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (Geneva, 1-3 Dec)
  • conference on measures to tackle human trafficking in the UK (London, 2 Dec)
  • training on community-based human rights impact assessments (Geneva, 4 Dec)
  • workshop on human rights in the mining and metals industry (Geneva, 4 Dec)
  • workshop on arbitration and human rights (New York, 5 Dec)
  • seminars on implementation of UNGPs by corporations (Copenhagen, 8-9 Dec)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Sam Whannel:
Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Sam Whannel:
Tercer Foro de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos comienza el próximo lunes en Ginebra (1-3 de diciembre)
  • Página especial incluye el programa completo; inscripción y logística; comentarios
Consideraciones de ONGs de cara al Tercer Foro de la ONU

Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos

Colombia: Mujeres afrodescendientes demandan consulta previa en proyectos mineros en territorios ancestrales

Proceso de Comunidades Negras

Perú: Comunidades demandan a Hudbay Minerals por supuestos abusos de derechos humanos e incumplimiento de acuerdos

Servindi (Perú)

Resumen de conferencia en España: "La gestión responsable de los Derechos Humanos [en la empresa], una realidad imparable" (19 de noviembre)

A 25 años de vigencia de la Convención de Derechos del Niño continúa el trabajo infantil (España)

Venezuela: PDVSA contribuye a erradicar la pobreza a través de Petrocaribe, dice el gobierno

Prensa Latina (Cuba)

Des Erythréens intentent un procès contre Nevsun au Canada pour des allégations de travail forcé dans la mine de Bisha en Erythrée

Centre canadien pour la justice internationale; Radio-Canada

Troisième Forum annuel de l'ONU sur les entreprises et les droits de l’homme (Genève, 1-3 décembre)

Le Maroc organise la seconde édition du forum mondial des droits de l'homme du 27 au 30 novembre 2014

France : Les ONG saluent le soutien du Premier ministre à la proposition de loi sur le devoir de vigilance des multinationales

Novethic (France); CCFD-Terre Solidaire (France); Sherpa

Gestion des ressources naturelles de la République démocratique du Congo – du pillage au partage de la prospérité
  • événement avec Emmanuel Umpula Nkumba (AFREWATCH), Mary Robinson et d'autres - vidéo disponible (en anglais)
  • blog d'Aliou Diouf, Centre de Ressources sur les Entreprises et les Droits de l’Homme
France : L’entreprise doit « s'adapter aux travailleurs handicapés », déclare la PDG de Posson Packaging

Ouest France

Une ONG rappelle les entreprises à leur responsabilité pour éradiquer le travail des enfants dans leur chaîne d’approvisionnement

L'Express (France)

GDF Suez, Shell et Samsung remportent les prix Pinocchio 2014 pour le décalage entre leur discours sur leurs impacts sociaux et environnementaux et la pratique

Novethic (France)

Italie : La Cour suprême annule la condamnation d'un industriel d'Eternit dans le procès de l’amiante

Le Soir (Belgique)

France : Une étude met en lumière les obstacles posés aux femmes exerçant des métiers traditionnellement masculins

L'Express (France)

We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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