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Weekly Update - 22 June 2016

Lead Story
KnowTheChain ranks 20 Information & Communications Technology firms on steps to address forced labour in supply chains

KnowTheChain is a partnership of Humanity United, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Sustainalytics, Verité

Key findings include:
  • Worker voice: Companies taking little action to ensure workers have a voice throughout supply chain
  • Traceability: Companies taking steps to trace supply chains beyond first tier, particularly on conflict minerals – forced labour risk assessments needed
  • Recruitment: Some leading policies but more action needed across the sector to eliminate recruitment fees

(Photo credit: Know the Chain)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin now available in Chinese
  • highlights means of holding financial institutions to account for human rights abuse
Blog: Understanding the link between the investment system & human rights

Sonia Hierzig, ShareAction

Blog: Rejecting the World Bank’s false choice between rights & development

Natalie Bridgeman Fields & Siddharth Mohansingh Akali, Accountability Counsel

Global Witness reveals record number of land & environmental defenders killed in 2015

Global Witness

  • 185 deaths documented with highest numbers in: Brazil (50), Philippines (33), Colombia (26)
  • finds mining was the industry most commonly linked to killings, followed by agribusiness, hydroelectric dams & logging
  • report also available in Spanish; coverage in Portuguese
Family of Paris attacks victim files US lawsuit against Facebook, Google & Twitter claiming they provide material support to Isis; comments from firms provided


UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework database now includes 10 ICT companies


  • new companies included: Apple, AT&T, China Mobile, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung Electronics, Tencent and Verizon Communications
Critical analysis of National Action Plans on business & human rights

Homa-Centre for Human Rights and Business of the Law School of the Fed.Univ. Juiz de Fora (Brazil)

Commentary: Setting human rights standards through intl. contracts can have incredible normative power

Stéphane Brabant, Herbert Smith Freehills

Ghana: 9 illegal miners die in 3 weeks on AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi Gold concessions, company partly blames govt.


Sierra Leone: Community members advocating over alleged land grabs by Socfin released from prison

FIAN Belgium

  • NGOs increase pressure on govt. to resolve land dispute peacefully & protect community's right to food
Tanzania: NGOs raise concerns about World Bank waiving protection for indigenous communities, leaving them vulnerable to eviction by agribusinesses

Huffington Post

Uganda: Business & human rights country guide launched

Danish Institute for Human Rights & Uganda Human Rights Commission

USA: Lawsuit against maker & sellers of assault rifle used in Sandy Hook shooting seeks to challenge legislative immunity given to firms

New York Times

Brazil: Civil society groups claim ranchers kill indigenous community health worker & injure many others, including a child, in struggle over land

Survival Intl.

Peru: Petroperu admits responsibility for oil spills affecting indigenous peoples in the Amazon

Peru Support Network

Asia & Pacific
UN Working Group report on Asia Forum on Business & Human Rights

UN Working Group on business & human rights

China: 5 years after landmark demonstrations, Wukan villagers protest over worsening land disputes

South China Morning Post

Hong Kong: Oxfam publishes report on Hang Seng Index companies' ESG disclosure; shows 1/3 of surveyed companies lagging behind

Oxfam Hong Kong & RepuTex

Indonesia: PepsiCo linked to worker exploitation in the palm oil sector through joint venture partner Indofood; companies respond

OPPUK, Rainforest Action Network, International Labor Rights Forum; Alternet

Cambodia: Phnom Penh Sugar compensates Kampong Speu villagers for displacement from sugar plantation; many claim intimidation & coercion

Phnom Penh Post

Europe & Central Asia
EU reaches outline deal to regulate conflict minerals; includes due diligence requirements according to OECD Guidelines

European Parliament; Amnesty International; Swedwatch; Reuters

  • NGOs welcome agreement as first step, but say it fails to address key issues that would help stop trade in conflict minerals
  • concerns include limiting mandatory due diligence to approx. 100 upstream companies (smelters & refiners)
EU Foreign Affairs Council adopts resolution on business & human rights; NGOs call for more action on access to justice

European Council; Action Aid, CIDSE, European Coalition for Corporate Justice

Middle East & North Africa
Jordanian Govt. says 11,500 work permits now offered to Syrian refugees - largely in agriculture, manufacturing, food production

Jordan Times

Iran: 17 striking mine workers receive lashing sentences

International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Israel's national water company cuts off water supply to West Bank during Muslim holy month


Company responses
Compliance Advisor Ombudsman of the World Bank: Public consultation on approach to complainant protection (deadline: 15 Jul)

ESCR-Net Corporate Capture Project Survey (deadline: 30 Jun) 
Forthcoming events:
  • sustainability for smallholder farmers in Southeast Asia (23-24 Jun, Jakarta)
  • conference on human rights responsibilities of business (25 Jun, New Delhi)
  • "Business & the Bar: Lawyers, Rights & Remedies" (28-29 Jun, Geneva)
  • 2016 Business & Climate Summit (28-29 Jun, London)
  • briefing for business on responsible recruitment (28 Jun, London)
  • webinar on corporate misconduct database (28 Jun, online)
  • should Japan implement the UN Guiding Principles? (29 Jun, Tokyo)
  • responsible sourcing through a human rights lens (29 Jun, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption (Coordinator)
  • Bank Information Center (Intern, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Program)
  • Ford Foundation (Civic Engagement & Govt. Program Officer)
  • Univ. of Sheffield (Postdoctoral Research Associate, Business & Forced Labour)
  • Value Added in Africa (Director)
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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