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Weekly Update - 2 December 2015

Lead Story
Business & human rights at the COP 21 Paris climate talks

(Photo credit: COP 21)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa
From us

From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Digging Deeper: The Human Rights Impacts of Coal in the Global South

Dejusticia and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • report & documentary examines human rights impacts of coal in India, Colombia, Egypt, and South Africa
  • we invited Cerrejón Coal to respond; response provided
  • also provided: executive summary in Chinese
New Corporate Legal Accountability case profiles: Final reminder: We are recruiting a Development Director - UK/Europe (deadline: 3 Dec)
World Economic Forum report proposes coordinated response to human rights challenges in global supply chains

World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Human Rights

  • proposes “fair allocation of the preventative and remedial costs” among global companies, local business partners, govts., unions & others
  • with commentary by Michael Posner, NYU, & Marcela Manubens, Unilever
Updated guidance on Natl. Action Plans on business & human rights

UN Working Group on business & human rights

UN Forum on Business and Human Rights: Watch videos of sessions & provide feedback via survey (open until 20 Dec)
Danish dairy firm Arla Foods publishes human rights impact assessments in Nigeria & Senegal
  • finds potential impacts on local dairy farmers' livelihoods & rights, proposes mitigation steps
East Africa: British American Tobacco allegedly bribed govt. officials to defeat anti-smoking laws; includes company's comments

Independent (UK)

Botswana: "Diamond mining continues to cause suffering for Bushmen", says Survival Intl.
  • Survival Intl. reports most Bushmen still have no access to clean water, face arrest, beatings & torture by paramilitary police, state-funded wildlife scouts
Further to previous Update: Brazil: Govt. to sue BHP & Vale for USD 5.2 billion over dam disaster that caused deaths & environmental destruction

Folha de São Paulo; Australian Associated Press; Guardian (UK)

  • Vale admits that part of dam was built using waste from one of its mines
Guatemala: Constitutional Court orders suspension of Hidroxil's hydroelectric projects due to lack of consultation with indigenous communities

Upside Down World

Brazil: Civil society calls on UN Working Group on business & human rights to listen to victims & affected groups during its visit to the country (7-16 Dec)

Amigos da Terra Brasil, Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS, Conectas Direitos Humanos, Justiça Global, Fórum da Amazônia Oriental & others

Asia & Pacific
Court hears landmark case regarding impacts in Thailand of Laos' Xayaburi Dam; locals raise concerns about displacement & impact on livelihoods

Bangkok Post

India: Business leaders & economists raise concerns about religious intolerance & stifling of dissent threatening foreign investment

Financial Times (UK); Time (USA)

Reporters Without Borders names Cambodia most dangerous place for environmental reporters, cites killings of journalists covering illegal logging

Cambodia Daily

Laos: Save the Mekong calls for cancellation of Don Sahong Dam citing far-reaching consequences on food & livelihood security

China: Inner Mongolia herders’ leader detained after protesting against illegal expropriation & destruction of grazing land by Chinese authorities & miners

Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center

Europe & Central Asia
Russia: Evenk indigenous community leader sentenced to 5 years in jail for opposing "Petropavlovsk" gold mining firm; charges allegedly fabricated

Intl. Work Group for Indigenous Affairs; Russian Reader

  • we invited Petropavlosk to respond; it did not do so
EU Parliament calls for criminal charges against internet companies not removing material promoting terrorism; critics fear censorship

EurActiv (Belgium)

Russia: Court awards compensation to man in privacy rights lawsuit against Google

Moscow Times

Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: Workers at Bisco Misr (part of Kellogg) call for living wage

Mada Masr (Egypt)

  • company says it intends to review salaries in early 2016
  • workers acknowledge improvements in working conditions since Kellogg's acquisition of Bisco Misr
WPP advertising agency accused of "whitewashing" Egypt's human rights record; company comments provided

Independent (UK)

Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • discussion on corporate social responsibility & compliance (Berlin, 3 Dec)
  • Pinocchio Awards 2015 - special climate edition (Paris, 3 Dec)
  • workshop on proposed UN treaty on business & human rights (Paris, 4 Dec)
  • business forum on progress & commitments to climate action (Paris, 7-8 Dec)
  • holding business accountable via alternative dispute resolution (London, 7 Dec)
  • Overseas Private Investment Corp. roundtable on environmental & social policy statement (Washington DC, 9 Dec)
  • conference on trade, aid & fashion (London, 12 Dec)
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:  
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