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Weekly Update - 5 November 2014

Lead Story
Following 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse, Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety identifies over 80,000 safety issues in initial inspections

Guardian (UK); New York Times

  • Sarah Labowitz of New York Univ. Stern Center on Business & Human Rights highlights need for action beyond inspections
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

Pinocchio Awards "denounce contradiction" between multinationals’ sustainable development claims and actual impacts on society & environment

Friends of the Earth France & other NGOs

  • we invited the companies nominated to respond.  Crédit Agricole, EDF, GDF Suez, Perenco, Shell, Total responded 
  • we will indicate in next week's Update whether Samsung responds
UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (1-3 Dec, Geneva): Draft programme announced

Debate on a proposed binding global treaty on business & human rights:
  • commentaries by Phil Bloomer of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Josua Loots of Univ. of Pretoria, call for efforts to implement Guiding Principles & to develop global treaty to complement each other
  • Foreign Minister of Ecuador argues treaty would hold multinationals accountable for rights abuses & provide effective remedies for victims
Project launched to assess current National Action Plans on business & human rights

Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR); European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

H&M Chairman receives UN Association award for efforts to promote gender equality & empowerment of women at work

Retail in Asia (Hong Kong)

So. Sudan: Global Witness report says govt's first oil deal post-independence, with Star Petroleum, not transparent & may not benefit locals
  • also provided: Star Petroleum's response to Global Witness
Swaziland: 1600 factory workers at Tex Ray textile factory exposed to hazardous chemical gas; includes company comments

Swazi Observer

Nigeria: Corruption commission to expose companies using fake tax clearance certificates to evade tax

Daily Indepdent (Nigeria)

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hears concerns from NGOs that Canadian Govt. is failing to act on abuses in Latin America by mining companies

Inter Press Service

US court dismisses Alien Tort case against Chevron & BNP Paribas over alleged complicity in abuses committed by Iraqi Govt. of Saddam Hussein

New York Law Journal; Foley Hoag's Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law

Asia & Pacific
India: Fatal workplace accident at sugar mill of PepsiCo supplier, Olam Intl.

Intl. Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)

  • we invited Olam & Pepsico to respond; responses provided
So. Korea: CEO of instant messaging app, KakaoTalk, vows to reject govt. requests for user data


  • company previously criticised for providing police with user communications
Pacific Islanders protest against Australian coal companies, saying coal's contribution to climate change threatens their land, health & livelihoods

Inter Press Service

Malaysia: The business case for respecting migrant workers’ rights

CSR Asia

Myanmar: "Pro-business or pro-poor?" - report assesses draft land use policy

Transnational Institute

Europe & Central Asia
The fight against Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could become historic victory for people against corporate power, says George Monbiot

Guardian (UK)

UK: Former govt. special envoy for human trafficking warns Modern Slavery bill fails to focus on needs of victims

Guardian (UK)

Commentary: EU states not fulfilling their obligation to ensure access to justice for victims of corporate abuses abroad

Frank Bold, on European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)

Middle East & North Africa
Sodastream pulls out of West Bank following campaign by Palestinian groups - company says it is "purely commercial" decision

Independent (UK)

Company responses
Brazil: Federal Univ. of Juiz de Fora calls for articles to be presented at II International Human Rights and Business Seminar, Apr 2015
  • call for articles only available in Portuguese, submissions may be in English, Portuguese or Spanish; deadline: 24 Nov
Forthcoming events:
  • “Debt & human rights: The case of financial complicity” (Warwick, UK, 5 Nov)
  • conference on accountability for corporate abuses in dictatorships & conflicts (London, 5 Nov)
  • conference on managing human rights risks in business (London, 10 Nov)
  • "Ensuring remedy for corporate human rights abuses" in the EU (Brussels, 12 Nov)
  • "Home country efforts to regulate foreign investment for sustainable development" (New York, 12-13 Nov)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Sam Whannel:
Vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Other current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Sam Whannel:
El Centro de Información sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos (CIEDH) convoca postulaciones para un/a Investigador/a y Representante para México, Centroamérica, y el Caribe

Perú: Justicia admite demanda contra Exploraciones Águila Dorada para proteger indígenas Awajun en Cajamarca porque no fue consultada previamente

Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros en el Perú

Informe sobre conflictos por tierras y bosques en mercados emergentes

Iniciativa para los Derechos y Recursos

  • analiza conflictos en Brasil, Camboya, Colombia, Indonesia, Liberia, Mozambique, Perú y Filipinas
Colombia: Accidente en mina de carbón “La Cancha” deja al menos 12 trabajadores atrapados

El Colombiano

México: Organizaciones sociales denuncian abusos a la libertad de expresión y protesta frente a megaproyectos

Frente por la Libertad de Expresión y la Protesta Social y 10 organizaciones más (México)

Colombia: El informe “El lado oscuro del carbón” dicen que Prodeco y Drummond deberán indemnizar a las víctimas de la violencia paramilitar

Verdad Abierta (Colombia)

Colombia: Corte afirma que jefe paramilitar sostuvo vínculos con empresarios

Verdad Abierta (Colombia)

Argentina: Legislativo aprobó polémica ley de hidrocarburos que no prevé daños por fracturación hidráulica

PanamPost y (Argentina)

México: Nestlé construye planta de lácteos que ahorraría agua en zona de escasez


Chile: Informe anual de la Universidad Diego Portales analiza temas de empresas y derechos humanos y derechos laborales
Des ONG organisent les Prix Pinocchio "pour dénoncer" le décalage entre le discours des multinationales sur leurs impacts sociaux et environnementaux et la pratique

Les Amis de la Terre France ; basta ! (France)

  • Nous avons invité les entreprises nominées à répondre. Les réponses du Crédit Agricole, EDF, GDF Suez, Perenco, Shell et Total sont disponibles
  • Nous indiquerons ici la semaine prochaine si Samsung a répondu aux allégations
Sodastream relocalisera son usine de Cisjordanie pour « améliorer l'efficacité opérationnelle » du groupe, passe sous silence les appels au boycott

AFP & Le Monde (France)

Nigeria : Les communautés sans recours face à l’accaparement des terres et la pollution des multinationales pétrolières occidentales

basta ! (France)

  • Avec des commentaires de Total
Russie : Des bénévoles autorisés à entrer dans 2 marchés pour lutter contre le travail forcé des migrants

Jeanne Cavelier, Novethic (France)

Des indiens d'Equateur saisissent la Cour pénale internationale d’une plainte contre le PDG de Chevron à propos de l’impact sanitaire et environnemental de la pollution en Amazonie


France : La discrimination à l'embauche des seniors persiste, selon une association de demandeurs d'emplois (France)

Siemens met à disposition ses locaux vides de Munich pour accueillir des réfugiés irakiens et syriens


We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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