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3 January 2019

Lead Story
USA: Civil rights groups censure Facebook for allowing platform to spread bigotry & hatred and call for greater accountability

NAACP, Muslim Advocates & 30 other organisations; The Hill; Guardian (UK)

  • NGOs demand "significant changes" in company policies & leadership structure, including that Zuckerberg & Sandberg step down from board
  • Letter condemns Facebook for "actively undermining" efforts to hold the company accountable for abuse on its platform
  • We invited Facebook to respond; response provided
photo credit: Robert Scoble
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
Twitter should do more to protect women against abuse on its platform, says Amnesty Intl. 
  • Analysis revealed that 7.1% of tweets sent to women in Amnesty's study were "abusive" or "problematic", disproportionately targeting women of colour 
  • Amnesty Intl. stated Twitter's response to online abuse was inadequate & lacking in transparency
  • Twitter spokesperson said company is "committed to holding [itself] publicly accountable toward progress" regarding abuse
Commentary: 2018 was marked by a proliferation of climate change lawsuits against govts. & companies 

Climate Liability News

Commentary: Channelling Sir Geoffrey Chandler on the history & future of business and human rights

Bennett Freeman

Sudan: Govt. shuts down social media to quell country-wide protests

Reuters; Quartz Africa; Access Now

Commentary: DRC elections mark an opportunity to improve management of natural resources

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

McKinsey helped raise stature of authoritarian governments worldwide, according to New York Times investigation

Argentina: Mapuche Indigenous group sues Exxon, Total & Pan American Energy for allegedly dumping toxic waste


Mexican govt. makes largest increase in the minimum wage in past 23 years

Financial Times

Commentary: US Congress should reject legislation punishing companies who cut business ties with illegal Israeli settlements  

Human Rights Watch

Asia & Pacific
Thailand to ratify ILO's Convention on Work in Fishing to help address abuses in fisheries sector

Asia Times

  • In 2013, a series of investigations revealed migrant labourers endured ‘slave-like conditions’ on Thai fishing vessels
  • Thailand will be the first country in Asia to ratify the convention
Cambodia : 95 local & international NGOs decry conviction of six union leaders for role in minimum wage protest

VOA; Phnom Penh Post; Reuters

Indonesia: Women in palm oil industry vulnerable to labour rights abuses due to informal nature of employment


Australia: Shareholder class action to proceed against BHP over share price fall following Samarco dam catastrophe


  • See summary on lawsuits filed against BHP in Australia, Brazil and UK 
New Zealand: Forestry company fined & banned from hiring migrants for underpaying workers

NZ Herald

Europe & Central Asia
More than 70 Dutch pension funds pledge to invest more responsibly

Investments & Pensions Europe; Social & Economic Council of the Netherlands

  • The pension funds, representing 1179 billion euros in invested assets, signed an agreement to collaborate on projects relating to human rights & the environment
  • Agreement also signed by three Dutch Ministries, six NGOs & three trade unions 
Norway to build wind farm despite UN call to suspend project over potential impact on indigenous herders' livelihood


UK: Campaigners criticise govt. anti-sexual harassment policy for failing to put onus on employers to protect workers

UK govt.; Guardian (UK)

EU public procurement legislation can be used to help protect workers’ rights in global supply chains, study finds

University of Birmingham

Middle East & North Africa
HSBC divests from Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit systems following pressure from rights groups

War on Want

NGO issues recommendations to address late & non-payment of migrant worker wages in Gulf's construction sector 

Engineers Against Poverty

  • Study recommends banning "pay when paid" practices & allowing subcontractors to withdraw their service if payment is delayed
Over 85% of listed companies in Gulf countries have no women board members, according to NGO report


Company responses Non-responses
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