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Weekly Update - 29 July 2015

Lead Story
Oxfam's Community Consent Index evaluates 38 extractive companies' positions on free, prior & informed consent

(photo credit: Oxfam/Patrick Brown)
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Latest additions to "Debate the Treaty" blog series: Commentary: "Intense scrutiny on Asian Infrastucture Investment Bank should spur it to fulfil its social and environmental mission"

Lowell Chow & Annabel Short, in South China Morning Post

US State Dept. releases 2015 Trafficking in Persons report - concerns raised about upgraded status given to Malaysia, Myanmar, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan


  • commentaries by Fortify Rights, Humanity United, Cotton Campaign, Malaysian Bar Association
Union of Concerned Scientists report says fossil fuel industry "knowingly worked to deceive public about realities & risks of climate change"
  • we invited companies mentioned in the report to respond; responses by BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil & Peabody Energy provided
  • Chevron & Shell did not respond
UNICEF publishes guides for govts. on children's rights & business

Access to Medicine Foundation report on maternal health & contraceptives highlights steps taken by pharmaceutical firms to improve access to medicine

New on Corporate Legal Accountability: UK Govt. tells Amnesty Intl. it lacks capacity to investigate Trafigura over toxic waste dumped in Côte d’Ivoire leading to deaths & injuries

Amnesty Intl.; Guardian (UK)

Liberia: Global Witness report alleges intimidation, violence against communities opposed to Golden Veroleum's expansion over land rights concerns
  • response by Golden Veroleum Liberia provided
Uganda: More than 100 smallholder farmers file lawsuit seeking compensation for land taken over by Bidco palm oil plantation, citing loss of livelihoods

Agence France-Presse

"The Bliss of Ignorance": Documentary on health impacts of coal in So. Africa
  • previous response by Eskom provided
Chile: Mining contract worker shot dead by police during strike against copper company Codelco


  • Codelco calls for dialogue with trade union workers & contractor firms
Peru: Trade unions allege labour rights abuses by Hugo Boss supplier Topy Top
  • we invited Hugo Boss to respond - it did not
Report on final US Natl. Action Plan consultation (Washington DC, 16 Apr)

Intl. Corporate Responsibility Roundtable (ICAR) & Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI)

Asia & Pacific
Cambodia: Observatory for Protection of Human Rights Defenders calls on govt. to end judicial harassment of Ny Chakrya, land & human rights activist

Intl. Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) & World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

As China shifts from coal to hydropower in effort to combat climate change, critics highlight issues on efficiency & environmental impacts

China Dialogue

Myanmar: Workers & unions say Bagan Hotel River View harasses & discriminates against union members

Myanmar Times; Intl. Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations

  • we invited Bagan Hotel River View to respond - it did not do so
Myanmar: Commentaries on concerns about new land law; challenges & risks for business

Intl. Commission of Jurists; Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business

L’Oreal India first Indian company to receive business certification for gender equality

Economic Times (India)

Europe & Central Asia
UK Govt. to require companies with a turnover of GBP 36 million or more to publish an annual slavery & human trafficking statement from October

UK Prime Minister's Office & Home Office

Kazakhstan: NGO report finds insufficient commitment to human rights by telecommunications companies (only available in Russian)
  • we invited Alma TV, Altel, Arna, Astel, Kar-Tel, Kazakhtelecom, KazTransCom, KCell/TeliaSonera, Mobile Telecom Service, Nursat & TransTelekom to respond
  • KCell/TeliaSonera responded - we will indicate whether Mobile Telecom Service responds in a future Update
European Union "state of play" on implementing UN Guiding Principles

European Commission

  • also provided: commentary by European Coalition for Corporate Justice
Gabriel Resources seeks damages from Romania in intl. arbitration over blocking gold mine due to environmental & access to water concerns

Agence France-Presse

Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: Report highlights cases of impunity for human rights abuses linked to multinational companies

Egyptian Center for Economic & Social Rights

Lebanon: Child labour increases as Syria’s refugee children work in fields & warehouses

Guardian (UK)

Jordan: Legal aid centre submits 32 reports on suspected cases of human trafficking & labour exploitation of migrant workers to govt.

Jordan Times

Company responses Non-responses
Reminder: Final opportunity to provide written submissions to UK Natl. Action Plan revision process - open until 31 Jul

Reminder: Online consultation for OHCHR's Accountability and Remedy Project open until 1 Aug

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mary Robinson Speaker Series - Climate justice and business: Human rights from the frontlines to Paris (New York, 23 Sep)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Other forthcoming events:
  • Global Child Forum 2015 (Pretoria, 8 Sep)
  • training course on human rights for business people (London, 8 Sep)
  • supply chain management & the UN Guiding Principles (Copenhagen, 16 Sep)
  • business training on advancing due diligence approach (Frankfurt, 16 Sep)
  • Climate Week NYC 2015 (New York, 21-27 Sep)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative)

Other current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
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