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Weekly Update - 17 August 2016

Lead Story
Papua New Guinea: As Rio Tinto pulls out of Bougainville mine, provincial govt. opposes transfer of shares to natl. govt. & company’s refusal to take responsibility for legacy issues

Radio New Zealand; Jubilee Australia

  • activists argue mine played a role in Bougainville civil war
  • legacy issues allegedly include ongoing impacts of relocation of villages & environmental pollution
  • we invited Rio Tinto to respond - response provided
Panguna mine. Photo: Wellington Chocolate Factory
(Photo credit: Wellington Chocolate Factory)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Brazil: Concerns around restrictions on freedom of expression during the Olympics, sponsors comment

Conectas Human Rights; RioonWatch; Business & Human Rights Resource Centre 

  • we invited Worldwide Olympic Partners & Rio 2016 Olympic Games Official Sponsors to comment
  • includes responses from Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Visa
Event: "Syrian refugees in supply chains: Exploitation or opportunity?" (26 Sep, New York - please RSVP)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is recruiting for interns (closing date: 29 Aug)
US court rules in favour of Chevron & denies USD 9.5 billion judgement to Amazonian residents for environmental damage

US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Bloomberg Markets; Courthouse News Service 

Indian fishermen & farmers appeal US District Court decision in case against Intl. Finance Corp. over environmental damage allegedly caused by Tata Mundra coal power plant

EarthRights Intl.

High risk of modern slavery in nearly 60% of countries, global index finds

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Malawi: Local advocacy group alleges Carlsberg Breweries' subsidiary polluting local river

Institute of Sustainable Development (Malawi)

  • includes statement by Carlsberg Malawi 
Kenya: Equity Group sponsors 64 students from poor backgrounds to top global universities

Daily Nation (Kenya)

So. Africa: Amnesty Intl. report criticises Lonmin for not meeting its housing promise for Marikana miners; says govt. not enforcing compliance

Amnesty Intl.; News24; Business Day

Guatemala: Human rights lawyer, Ramón Cadena, who's work includes mining case, targeted by armed men at his home

Guardian (UK)

Calls for US securities regulator to investigate Tahoe Resources over failure to disclose lawsuit it brought seeking to prevent referendum on its mine in Guatemala; Mining Watch (Canada); Justice and Corporate Accountability Project; The Star (Canada)

Suriname: Indigenous peoples protest to gain “formal” control over their land, rich in natural resources

NL Times


Asia & Pacific
Philippines: C&F Manufacturing accused of union busting after it made 60 union members redundant citing business losses as cause

Workers’ Assistance Center Philippines

  • we invited C&F Manufacturing to respond - response provided
China: SACOM report investigates working conditions at suppliers for Zara (part of Inditex), H&M, Gap & calls on companies to improve working hours, wages & right to organise

Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM)

  • we invited Inditex, H&M & Gap to respond - responses provided
China: Govt. suspends plan for nuclear-fuel-recycling plant in Lianyungang after thousands protest over safety concerns

Wall Street Journal; Financial Times

China: 46 global business groups urge Chinese govt. to revise its draft cybersecurity law, saying it would hamper trade

South China Morning Post; Reuters; BBC

Europe & Central Asia
Azerbaijan: Amec Foster Wheeler accused of discriminating against local employees & tax avoidance

Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization (OWRPO)

  • we invited Amec Foster Wheeler to respond but it did not
Russia: Mining companies, including OAO Yuzhnaya, accused of violating indigenous Shor peoples' rights

Myski local civic organisation “Revival of Kazas and the Shor people”, Intl. Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) & Institute for Ecology and Action Anthropology (INFOE)

  • we invited OAO Yuzhnaya to respond - response provided (only available in Russian)
UK: Sports Direct employees to receive back pay totalling GBP 1 million after firm admitted to not paying minimum wage

Guardian (UK)

UK: Govt. tells Deliveroo employers cannot "simply opt out of the National Living Wage" following protests by workers over proposed changes to pay

Independent; BBC; Guardian (UK)

  • CEO apologises for pay dispute & makes concessions
Middle East & North Africa
Governments & companies offer assistance after Saudi Oger fails to pay wages and leaves migrant construction workers stranded

Arab News; Bloomberg; ConstructionWeek; Daily Times; Gulf News; LBC; Quartz India; MEED; Middle East Eye;; Moroccan World News & The Daily Star

Legend Project Contracting returns passports to unpaid workers following media pressure

Khaleej Times

  • we invited Legend Project Contracting to respond but it did not
Company responses Non-responses
Call for contributions to 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed binding treaty on business & human rights (due: 1 Sep)

UN Working Group issues call for input on guidance for Natl. Action Plans on business & human rights (due: 16 Sep)
Forthcoming events:
  • human rights risk management strategy webinar (19 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: prevention of trafficking for labour exploitation (7-8 Sep, Berlin)
  • access to remedy for corporate human rights abuses (8 Sep, Brussels)
  • "Intl. Maritime Human Rights Conference" (14 Sep, London)
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:
  • American Jewish World Service (Consultancy, Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Free the Slaves (2 posts: Senegal Country Director; Senegal Program Manager)
  • Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (Executive Director)
  • ICTI CARE (2 posts: Communications Assistant - Asia; General Manager - Asia Operations)
  • Shift (2 posts: Human Rights Reporting Analyst; Part-Time Administrative Assistant)
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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