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Weekly Update - 26 July 2017

Lead Story
Peru: UN Working Group raises concerns over conflicts associated with large-scale business operations in statement following official visit

UN Working Group on business & human rights

  • Notes social & environmental conflicts caused by large mining operations, repeated oil spills & deforestation have caused 70 deaths in last 5 years
  • Working Group calls for new mechanism to better protect human rights defenders, including environmentalists & indigenous leaders

(Credit: Global Landscapes Forum via Flickr (CC BY 2.0 - modified))
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Guest Blog: Taking the G20 at its word: suggestions for immediate & effective measures to eliminate modern slavery & human trafficking​

Claudia Müller-Hoff & Linde Bryk, European Center for Constitutional & Human Rights​

Vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: 
"Handbook for Lawyers on Business & Human Rights": Intl. Bar Association publishes legal practice guidelines
  • With advice on integrating human rights into corporate mergers, acquisitions & restructuring, contracts including supply, distribution & franchise agreements
Acacia Mining faces lawsuit in the UK by family members of people killed at its Tanzania mine, claiming inadequate compensation 

Telegraph (UK)

  • Article includes statements by Acacia Mining
Summary report: Expert roundtable on elements of a possible binding intl. instrument on business & human rights

Univ. of Notre Dame (event co-organised by Univ. of Notre Dame, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, British Institute of  Intl. & Comparative Law, & Univ. of Essex)

  • Considers strategy including potential state parties, and substantive issues such as which rights should be covered, state duties including extraterritorial regulation
Chinese companies "outsource emissions" to Latin America, fail to comply with Chinese Govt. climate policies, say NGO analysts

Paulina Garzón, China Latin-America Sustainable Investments Initiative & Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch, in New York Times

Chamber Watch replies to Gap & Pepsi re conflict between climate commitments & participation in US Chamber of Commerce; critiques Disney for not responding
Kenya: Ushahidi CEO sacked over allegations of sexual assault involving an employee

Business Daily

Commentary: Financial institutions should combat climate change by "aligning their business to environmental sustainability" 

Joshua Oigara, CEO of Kenya Commercial Bank, in Daily Nation (Kenya)

Nigeria: Ibeno youths protest against ExxonMobil for alleged oil spills in the region; company denies responsibility

This Day

Guatemala: Supreme Court confirms suspension of Tahoe Resource’s El Escobal mining licence citing violation of indigenous people’s rights to be consulted

Guardian (UK)

Guatemala: Workers' World Council calls on Ternium to "end its union-busting campaign" & recognise local trade union’s rights


  • We invited Ternium to respond; it did not 
USA: Abuses against migrant workers on Hawaii fishing fleet - NGO files complaint against US Govt. before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Associated Press; Turtle Island Restoration Network

Asia & Pacific
Australia: Federal Court grants native title to Yindjibarndi community over land currently owned by Fortescue Metals Group's Solomon Hub mine

ABC News

Thailand: Court convicts dozens in landmark human trafficking case, former public officials amongst those arrested


New Zealand: Migrant workers in kiwifruit picking prone to exploitation, says govt. report - at least half of contractors investigated don't pay minimum wage


  • Ease with which Bay of Plenty kiwifruit operators break employment laws demonstrates widespread exploitation, says Union Network of Migrants
Indonesia: HSBC passes on Greenpeace's documents raising concerns over planned deforestation by Noble Plantations in Papua to Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil - triggers RSPO investigation

Guardian (UK)

  • With statement by Noble Plantations
Vietnam: Companies with foreign owners accused of age discrimination - survey finds they "squeeze out" workers over 35

VietNamNet Bridge

Europe & Central Asia
NGOs urge EU member states & institutions to update export control framework of surveillance equipment to uphold human rights obligations

Access Now, Amnesty Intl. & 12 other intl, European, Middle Eastern NGOs; Motherboard

Shiva becomes first hotel group in UK to launch anti-slavery programme

Guardian (UK)

  • Aims to educate staff to spot warning signs of trafficking & sexual exploitation by guests, labour exploitation by external suppliers
Briefing: Italian legal framework against labour exploitation

Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione; Human Rights Intl. Corner

Middle East & North Africa

Egypt: EIPR says at least 14 incidents in last 2 years refute Titan Cement's argument that recent heavy emissions were isolated incident

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)

  • We invited Titan to respond; they did not
Company responses Non-responses
European Commissions calls for practical evidence on operation of state-based collective redress mechanisms
  • Lack of compensatory collective action is a barrier to access to judicial remedy for cases corporate human rights abuses in Europe
Forthcoming events:
  • Seminar: Environmental & Land Defenders (27 Jul, London)
  • Webinar: Stakeholder Engagement in Human Rights Impact Assessments (28 Jul, online)
  • Seminar: Human Rights & Business, (23-25 Aug, São Paulo)
  • Workshop: Public Values & Public Goods - How Do They Live in The Intersection of Finance & Human Rights? (6 Sep, Naples)
  • Conference: Global Public Goods, Global Commons & Fundamental Values - Responses of Intl. Law (7-9 Sep, Naples)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here. Please send relevant event information to Anna Liberadzki:  
Vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Other current vacancies:
  • Fair Wear Foundation (2 positions: Director & Fundraising Officer)
  • New Venture Fund Project: Shine (Campaign Director)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (Operations Officer)
  • Project on Organizing, Development, Education, & Research (Director of Finance & Operations)
  • Intl. Alert (Corporate Engagement Advisor)
  • Shift (Advisor)
  • Accountability Counsel (Africa Consultant)
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:
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