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Weekly Update - 3 August 2016

Lead Story
Cambodia: Killing of human rights defender Kem Ley - Prime Minister sues opposition leaders for suggesting govt. involvement

Phnom Penh Post; Khmer Times; Radio Free Asia; Voice of America; FIDH; Cooperation Committee for Cambodia

  • Ley was a well-known critic of the Cambodian Govt., commenting on issues related to human rights & corruption, including the extent of the Prime Minister’s family’s business interests
  • supporters of Ley claim to be facing threats, some go into hiding

(photo credit: Hengthona) 
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Blog: "Will the 2016 Rio Olympics be remembered as the 'Games of Exclusion'?"

Júlia Mello Neiva, Senior Brazil, Portugal & Portuguese-speaking Africa Researcher & Representative

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is recruiting for interns
  • Communications (available immediately)
  • General Research & Projects (Oct start)
  • Legal Research (Oct start)
Philippine Commission on Human Rights orders world's largest carbon producers to respond to complaint alleging human rights abuses from climate change

Guardian (UK); Greenpeace Philippines

  • we are reaching out to the 47 companies to publicly respond to the complaint
UN Working Group issues call for input on guidance for Natl. Action Plans on business & human rights (due: 16 Sep)

Total publishes first human rights briefing paper based on UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
  • see also: Total report on integrating climate change into its strategy
Victims file amended complaint in US lawsuit against chocolate firms over alleged child & forced labour in Côte d'Ivoire

Intl. Rights Advocates

  • full text of complaint against Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Nestlé provided
  • summary profile of lawsuit also available
So. Africa: Ex-mineworkers affected by occupational lung diseases receive USD 4.2 million in compensation

Kenya: CEO of Kenya Breweries urges businesses to embrace inclusive growth to generate livelihoods for communities

Daily Nation

Africa: Campaign launched to promote women's rights in extractive sector

Natl. Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE)

Brazil: Latest analyses & allegations of human rights violations related to upcoming Rio Olympics

RioOnWatch; IPS; Guardian (UK)

  • includes allegations of corruption, police raids on Maré favelas, pollution & water contamination
Verité report examines links between illegal gold mining in Latin America & trafficking in global supply chains

Commentary: Philip Morris & Uruguay case illustrates how firms can use intl. investment treaties to attack public interest regulations

Cecilia Olivet & Alberto Villareal, in Guardian (UK)

USA: Partner at Sedgwick law firm files class action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination

Above the Law

Asia & Pacific
Myanmar: Govt. halts renewal & issuance of jade mining permits until legal framework reformed

Myanmar Times; Global Witness, Kachin Development Networking Group and Natural Resource Governance Institute

  • move follows series of landslides that killed hundreds of workers
India: Paint used by car makers allegedly linked to illegal mines reliant on child labour & debt bondage; includes company comments

Guardian (UK) 

  • firms cited include Audi, BMW, Vauxhall, Volkswagen
China: Mentally disabled man "killed" in car crash returns, suspected of having been sold to illegal brick factory

Los Angeles Times

  • director of disability rights group says such cases are extremely common
China: Environmental group wins landmark air pollution lawsuit against glass manufacturer


Thailand: Modern-day slavery conditions reported in chicken export industry

Guardian (UK)

Europe & Central Asia
Italy: Natl. Action Plan on Business & Human Rights open for consultation (until 10 Aug)

Italian Interministerial Committee for Human Rights

UK: Byron Hamburgers facilitates Home Office raid & arrest of workers suspected of immigration breaches

Guardian (UK)

Further to 20 Jul Update: Responses from LederUndSchuh, Mango to allegations of labour rights abuses in footwear supply chain in Eastern Europe
Middle East & North Africa
UAE: Article reports case of forced labour on Yas Island project

Independent (UK)

  • we invited companies mentioned in the report to respond – EllisDon response provided; Aldar Properties did not respond
Saudi Arabia: Indian Govt. steps in as Saudi Oger's failure to pay wages leaves migrant construction workers hungry & stranded

Arab News; Quartz India 

Company responses Non-responses
Call for abstracts: 3rd annual natl. conference on economic, social & cultural rights (14-15 Sep, Uganda)

Initiative for Social & Economic Rights

Call for contributions for 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed treaty (deadline 1 Sep)
Forthcoming events:
  • 6th Asia Best CSR Practices Awards 2016 (5 Aug, Singapore)
  • master class: social performance in mining, oil & gas sectors (8-10 Aug, Colorado)
  • webinar: "EO100 Standard for Responsible Energy Development" (11 Aug, online)
  • "Inside the ICAR Studio" speaker series: Motoko Aizawa (24 Aug, Washington DC, online)
  • workshop on inequality & human rights in global South (27 Aug - 3 Sep, Colombia)
  • conference on access to remedy for corporate human rights abuses (8 Sep, Brussels)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Internships at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Other current vacancies:
  • Fair Wear Foundation (Assistant Verification Officer)
  • Global Justice Now (2 posts: Campaigns & Policy Officer, Corporate Power; Policy Officer, Trade)
  • ICTI CARE Foundation (Engagement Executive - Europe)
  • Impactt Limited (Impactt Project Officer)
Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  To submit a new job announcement in business & human rights please go here.
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