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Weekly Update - 23 November 2016

Lead Story
"For your eyes only?" Amnesty Intl. assesses 11 companies' messaging apps on digital privacy
  • focuses on encryption as a tool to help protect human rights online
  • ranks messaging apps by Apple, Blackberry, Facebook, Google, Kakao Co., Line, Microsoft, Snapchat, Telegram, Tencent, Viber Media
  • Facebook (Facebook messenger; Whatsapp), Apple (iMessage, Facetime) & Telegram rated highest; Tencent (QQ, WeChat) ranked lowest

(Photo credit: Pexels)
From us
Asia & Pacific

Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Blog: A “Golden Opportunity” for some: Can the visit of President Xi to Latin America improve the practices of Chinese firms in the region?

Amanda Romero, Senior Researcher & Representative for South America

Over 1000 company statements available on UK Modern Slavery Act Registry
  • explore statements by sector & country of headquarters via interactive dashboard
  • better practice: a handful of statements provide detailed information on supply chain transparency & modern slavery risks
  • wider trends: most statements do not meet minimum requirements
We're hiring! 2 vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
"Doing Business With Respect for Human Rights": Guide for companies on putting the UN Guiding Principles into practice

Global Compact Network Netherlands, Oxfam & Shift

  • includes case stories from Mexico, Indonesia, So. Africa, Turkey
Letter calls on Dutch development bank FMO to increase protections for human rights defenders

BankTrack, Global Witness, Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable & 29 others

  • letter responds to FMO's Sustainability Policy consultation; refers to killing of Berta Cáceres, who had protested FMO-funded Agua Zarca dam
COP22 climate discussions come to a close – NGOs, environmental groups, businesses & journalists react
  • commentaries & statements from Center for Intl. Environmental Law, World Resources Institute, BSR, Greenpeace Intl., We Mean Business & others
  • 365 businesses & govt. leaders urge Trump to back Paris Agreement
  • Mary Robinson calls on businesses to lead climate action & just transition to renewable energy
"Children in humanitarian crises: What business can do"

UN Global Compact & UNICEF

Ex-child soldiers sue Aegis Defence Services in UK for alleged failure to mitigate psychological harm they suffered as adult mercenaries in Iraq

Guardian (UK)

UK court to begin hearings of Shell oil spills cases brought on behalf of 40,000 Nigerians

Nigeria Today


Liberia: Risk analysis recommends Sime Darby develop new strategy to respect community rights in developing palm oil & rubber plantations

Chain Reaction Research (USA); Value Walk (USA)

"The state of corporate accountability in Uganda": Report documents human rights impacts of oil & mining sector

Uganda Consortium on Corporate Accountability

  • we approached companies mentioned in the report for a response
  • response from Seyani Brothers & NGO rejoinder provided; we will indicate whether the other companies respond
USA: Police use force against indigenous "water protectors" opposing Dakota Access Pipeline - human rights groups urge demilitarisation of police response

Washington Post

Mexico: New country guide on business & human rights

Danish Institute for Human Rights

Peru: NGOs call for dialogue to prevent further police killings of anti-mining protesters; includes company comments (in Spanish)

Peru Support Group

Commentary: "Ecuador must reinvent its relationship with China" to ensure sustainable approach to energy production

Paulina Garzón, China-Latin America Sustainable Investments Initiative, in Diálogo Chino

Asia & Pacific
Japan announces it will develop Natl. Action Plan on business & human rights; commits to involving NGOs

Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN

Malaysia: Guardian investigation alleges workers in Panasonic & Samsung supply chains are being exploited & underpaid; companies launch investigations

Guardian (UK)

Thailand: Court dismisses defamation charge brought by Tungkum against PBS over a report on the mining company's environmental impacts

AFP; Channel News Asia

Further to previous Update: Faremo Intl.’s shutdown leaves over 1000 jobless in Philippines; union suspects move meant to suppress organising

Partido Manggagawa

  • NGO issues rejoinder to Gap (reported buyer); Gap response provided
  • response by Faremo’s parent company, Hansoll Textile, provided
Europe & Central Asia
Global Compact Network Germany launches human rights due diligence information portal

Global Compact Network Germany; twentyfifty

Romania: Investigation exposes child labour & exploitative conditions in Kinder Egg (owned by Ferrero) supply chain

Sun (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Lebanon: Work restrictions on Syrian refugees reportedly increase unemployment & hardship

Financial Times (UK)

Responsible investment in Iran - latest updates
  • Total is first western energy firm to sign major deal with Iran since sanctions lifted
  • Obama administration considers steps to provide licenses for more US firms to enter Iran market
  • Briefing paper: "Doing responsible business in Iran"
Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • impact of free trade agreements on workers' rights (24 Nov, London)
  • training on ethical trade for Irish food & farming companies (24-25 Nov, Kilkenny)
  • webinar trainings on UNCTAD's Intl. Investment Agreements & Investor-State Dispute Settlement databases (28 Nov - 1 Dec, online)
  • seminar: business & human rights in Mexican coal mining region (29 Nov, Dublin)
  • business coaching on human rights due diligence (30 Nov, Johannesburg)
  • forum on conflict minerals & supply chain transparency (30 Nov - 2 Dec, Berlin)
  • achieving sustainability in the sugarcane industry (1-2 Dec, London)
  • MA in Children's Rights, including child labour (apply by 1 Dec, Sion/Geneva)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (2 posts: Development Manager, Europe; Development Officer)
  • Human Rights Law Centre (Director of Advocacy)
  • Impactt Limited (Project Team Intern)
  • Intl. Finance Corp. (Research Analyst)
  • Urgent Action Fund-Africa (2 posts; Communications & Knowledge Management Programme Officer; Partnerships & Development Manager)
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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