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12 December 2018 

Lead Story
Business, civil society & investors come out in support of human rights on 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration on Human Rights
  • In landmark statement major brands & investors say protection of human rights defenders & civic freedoms is essential for profitable & sustainable business
  • Citigroup, HPICMM, the International Organisation of Employers, Nestlé & Unilever among others issued statements on the importance of respecting human rights
  • The Human Rights Defenders World Summit launched an action plan demanding business & financial institutions adopt a zero-tolerance policy on violence or threats towards defenders
  • More than 200 CSOs signed an open letter calling on govts. & development banks to respect human rights and safeguard those who defend them
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin: The Zero Draft Treaty on Business & Human Rights
  • Bulletin explores concerns around the Zero Draft treaty & suggests three tests the treaty must meet in order to be effective; also includes new case profiles
New in our blog series on the Australian Modern Slavery Act:      New in our blog series on technology & human rights:
Latest news from COP24 climate negotiations: Solidary Center launches global network of worker rights lawyers & advocates
  • Areas of focus include corporate accountability in supply chains, migrant & informal worker rights, and transnational collective bargaining
BBC investigation alleges Thai farm workers "exploited and abused" in Israel

New online resource explores top ten business & human rights issues of 2018

Institute for Human Rights and Business

Kenyan banks allegedly facilitate conflict in South Sudan by laundering funds from warlords & elite

APA News (Senegal) 

  • We invited Kenya Commercial Bank to respond; response provided
  • We invited Equity Bank & Stanbic Bank to respond; they did not
Zambia: Canadian Miner First Quantum Minerals failed to adequately resettle local community, according to NGO 

Network for Community Resource Governance

  • Letter from NGO alleges new, less fertile, location led to reduced food production & that company did not fulfil pledges to provide food & supplies
  • We invited First Quantum Minerals to respond; it did not
DRC Govt. declares cobalt "strategic" mineral resource and triples royalty rate as demand skyrockets

Quartz Africa

  • Demand for cobalt is rising as it forms a major component of lithium-ion batteries in smartphones & electric vehicles
  • Move is part of govt. bid to increase natural resource revenue; research shows significant loss of revenue is due to corruption in sector
USA: Microsoft adopts ethical principles to prevent misuse of facial recognition technology & pushes for govt. regulation

Microsoft; Reuters; Wall Street Journal

Brazil: Report highlights rights violations in cocoa farms, including degrading work conditions & child labour

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Alaska Native tribes petition Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for support to redress alleged human rights violations by Canadian mining companies

Juneau Empire

Asia & Pacific
Malaysian rubber glove producers Top Glove & WPR accused of migrant worker abuses including debt bondage & forced labour

Thomson Reuters Foundation; Guardian (UK) & others

  • UK to investigate Top Glove & WPR, which supply the National Health Service
  • Top Glove also supplies Australian company Ansell
  • Articles include company comments
Japan: Foreign workers ordered to terminate pregnancies or go home

Asahi Shimbun


Malaysia: Palm Oil certification body suspends FGV Holdings Berhard over alleged forced labour & human trafficking; article includes company comments


  • FGV supplies palm oil to companies including Cargill, Hershey's, Mars & Nestlé
Indonesia: Activists argue govt. infrastructure drive leading to increased repression of environmental activists

Jakarta Post

At government's request, hearing on future of Bangladesh Accord delayed again

Industriall & others

Europe & Central Asia
EU: ECOFIN Council requires mandatory disclosure of environmental, social & governance risks for banks in three years 


UK: Deliveroo bike riders lose high court battle for right to be represented by unions

Guardian (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
UAE: 30 seafarers stranded without pay, in Elite Way Marine Services vessels lacking adequate fresh water, food & medical supplies

Human Rights at Sea

  • Ordeal has lasted more than a year, with workers suffering from mental & physical health problems
  • The UAE Federal Transport Authority has placed a ban on the company as a result
  • We could not invite Elite Way Marine Services EST to respond because the company's operations have been suspended
Bahrain: Govt. adopts labour reforms, bans discrimination & sexual harassment in the workplace 

Gulf Business

Oman: Trade union urges employers to provide decent housing to workers

Times of Oman

Company responses Non-responses
Call for input: Intl. Finance Corporation's draft impact investment operating principles (deadline: end of Dec  2018)
Vacancies at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Current vacancies: Further details & 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, organisations & companies in the materials in this email:
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