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Weekly Update - 25 November 2015

Lead Story

Spotlight on palm oil over impacts in Central America
 

NGO coalition calls attention to alleged killings, intimidation & pollution affecting community livelihoods tied to palm oil plantations in Guatemala

(Photo credit: Trocaire via Flickr)
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From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Latest contribution to our Climate Dialogues blog series:
  • "Who is paying the real costs of climate deception?" (Keely Boom, Climate Justice Programme)
Where to find Business & Human Rights Resource Centre at 2015 UN Paris Climate Summit (COP 21)

2 vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
International
UN Forum on Business and Human Rights: Participants reflect on key takeaways in video
  • also provided: written submissions, materials launched, speeches & blogs
Principles for Responsible Investment issues guidance to assist investors to promote corporate tax responsibility

Bank Information Center welcomes call by World Bank executives to ensure projects the Bank finances do not abuse human rights

UN expert says binding treaty on business & human rights is needed to curb adverse impacts of intl. trade agreements

Alfred de Zayas, UN independent expert on promotion of democratic & equitable intl. order


Accenture commits to hiring 40% female employees by 2017 & ensuring that all employees are compensated "fairly & equitably"

Business Standard (India)

Africa
Nigeria: Workers at  China Civil Engineering Construction protest deaths, injuries attributed to unsafe conditions, mass dismissals, alleged discrimination

Daily Independent (Nigeria)

  • we invited China Civil Engineering Construction to respond; response provided
Tanzania: Report says Acacia Mining "fails to address ongoing violence" against locals at Acacia's mine

Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID-UK) & MiningWatch Canada

  • also provided: Acacia's response to RAID
African civil society groups support global business & human rights treaty to "stop corporate abuse and provide real remedies for affected people"

African CSOs on a Binding Treaty

Americas
Brazil: Court finds Syngenta responsible for armed attack on encamped rural workers, which resulted in the death of a worker

Terra de Direitos (Brazil)

  • also provided: Portuguese story with company comments
Oxfam report documents poor working conditions, including low wages, injuries & illness, in US poultry industry & calls for improvements by companies
  • Tyson's response to Oxfam provided
  • we invited Perdue Farms, Pilgrim's Pride (part of JBS) & Sanderson Farms to respond; Perdue Farms response provided; Pilgrim's Pride & Sanderson Farms did not respond
Mexico: Communities protest over alleged harms to health, access to water & increase in conflict linked to Chinese titanium mining firm Honour Up Trading

Truthout

  • we invited Honour Up Trading to respond; it did not
Argentina: UN human rights experts support creation of commission to investigate business’ complicity during military dictatorship

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Asia & Pacific
Myanmar: Around 100 killed & hundreds more missing in landslide at a jade mine in Hpakant

New York Times; Irrawaddy (Myanmar)


Indonesia: PepsiCo’s new palm oil commitment criticised for exempting partner Indofood from heightened social & environmental standards

Rainforest Action Network

  • we invited Indofood & PepsiCo to respond; PepsiCo response provided, we will indicate whether Indofood responds in a future Update
Report commissioned by Nestlé finds forced labour & human trafficking in its Thai seafood supply chain

Bloomberg; Verité; AFP

  • report says the abuses pose an "urgent challenge to any company sourcing seafood" in Thailand
  • company launches 10-point action plan in response to findings
China: New phase of nuclear power construction raises further safety concerns as planned reactors are pushed inland

New York Times

Europe & Central Asia
Companies speak out in support of a mandatory EU responsible mineral sourcing scheme; statements from Novo Nordisk & Telenor

compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • also provided: other statements from Alcatel-Lucent & Philips
UK: Investigation finds firms split over whether to pay new "national living wage" to workers under 25

Independent (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Qatar: Attorney General to seek to appeal reversal of involuntary manslaughter convictions of nursery owners in Villaggio Mall fire lawsuit

Gulf Times

Company responses Non-responses
Announcements
UN Working Group on mercenaries to host panel discussions on Private Military Security Companies (PMSCs): Regulations & National Experience (1 Dec, Geneva)
Events
Forthcoming events:
  • course on responsible supply chain management (Copenhagen, 26 Nov)
  • workshop on business & human rights (Toronto, 26 Nov)
  • "The Economic Accomplices to the Argentine Dictatorship" book launch (London, 26 Nov)
  • panel on issue of private military & security companies (Geneva, 1 Dec)
  • Law Society event on business & human rights (London, 1 Dec)
  • does ethical investment directly benefit workers? (London, 2 Dec)
  • short training course on human rights for business people (London, 2 Dec)
  • discussion on legal issue affecting victims of trafficking (London, 2 Dec)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia: janczenia@business-humanrights.org  
Jobs
Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia: janczenia@business-humanrights.org  
Español
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