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Weekly Update - 1 October 2014

Lead Story
US to develop National Action Plan consistent with UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights

White House; IPS; Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)

  •  UN Working Group & human rights groups welcome announcement
Our Weekly Update is now shorter & more user-friendly.  For all news on a region, click on the regional headings below.  We welcome feedback - email us here
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

Peoples Forum on Human Rights and Business concludes today, in Bogota - participate in discussions at "PFLive!" website

Commentary: "Government repression of human rights activists: when should business speak out? From Hong Kong streets to the European Games in Azerbaijan"

Annabel Short, Program Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

At World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, states reiterate their commitment to consulting indigenous peoples on projects affecting their lands

Guardian (UK); UN

  • indigenous groups concerned govts. will not actually implement commitments to consult them
"Where Markets Lead, Will Justice Follow?" Ford Foundation asks 8 change makers

UN Business Call to Action welcomes companies’ commitments towards Millennium Development Goals
  • includes commitments from BASF India, CEMEX, Panasonic, Telefonica
Commentary: The use of human rights indicators to monitor private security companies' operations

Irene Pietropaoli, Measuring Business & Human Rights project & Middlesex Univ.

Tanzania: Doubts over sustainability of Coca-Cola's river clean-up initiative; includes company comments

Global Post (USA)

Amnesty Intl. & Global Witness call for stronger rules to avoid risk of European companies financing conflict in Dem. Rep. of Congo

Amnesty Intl.; Foreign Policy blog

Ethiopia: Report says Mursi indigenous people displaced, among other human rights violations, for commercial sugar production

"Ethiopia" blog, Clark Univ. (USA)

Colombia: Peasant farmers protest against Occidental over alleged land grabbing
  • original article containing the allegations is only available in Spanish
  • we invited Occidental to respond; response provided
Brazil: Andrade Gutierrez to pay 5 million BRL over labour rights abuses

Ministério Público do Trabalho (Brasil)

  • only available in Portuguese: Brasil: Andrade Gutierrez irá pagar indenização por abusos de direitos trabalhistas na obra da Arena da Amazônia 
Malaysia: Report alleges lack of community consent for Lynas rare earths plant & raises serious waste management concerns

Stop Lynas

  • we invited Lynas to respond but it did not
Cambodia: Report finds serious violations of fair trial rights of 23 protesters charged over Jan 2014 garment worker protests

Intl. Senior Lawyers Project

US court allows lawsuit to proceed against ExxonMobil over alleged complicity in human rights abuses in Aceh, Indonesia

Associated Press; Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

India: UNICEF partners with companies including OTG, Meßmer, Tata Tea, Tesco to tackle abuse & trafficking of children in tea communities

Myanmar: Last holdout resident in Phase 1 of Thilawa economic zone charged with trespassing

Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

  • villager refuses to vacate house alleging insufficient compensation
Swiss Foreign Affairs Committee calls for mandatory human rights due diligence for companies

Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice (SCCJ)

Russia: Man freed by human rights group after 18 years of slave labour at brick factory & cattle farm in Dagestan

Moscow Times (Russia)

Bahraini activist says UK arms sales to Bahrain triple despite regime's crackdown on dissent 

Press TV (Iran)

Kenya suspends license for 930 employment agencies sending workers to Middle East, to help address labour rights abuses

Gulf News

Company responses Non-responses
Nominations open for Chairperson of 2014 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (due 10 Oct)
Reminder: 31 October in NYC: "Managing Congo's Natural Resource Wealth - From Plunder to Shared Prosperity?"

Forthcoming events:
  • conference on preventing corporate/community conflict (Barcelona, 1-3 Oct)
  • "Responsible Electronics 2014" (Burlingame, 1-2 Oct)
  • conference on tax avoidance & tax justice (Barcelona, 2 Oct)
  • CSR compliance workshop (Copenhagen, 3 Oct)
  • course on business, conflict and peace (Basel, 6-10 Oct)
  • industry, civil society and sustainable mineral production (Copenhagen, 8 Oct)
  • "2nd Annual CEO Forum: Children's Rights & Business Principles" (London, 8 Oct)
  • "Human Rights in Motion" (London, 10 Oct)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Sam Whannel:
Reminder: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is looking for legal & general research interns to join our London office

Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Sam Whannel:
Colombia: Protestas campesinas contra Occidental por supuesto despojo de tierras

Organizaciones sociales del Centro Oriente de Colombia y Mesa de Organizaciones Cívicas y Populares de Arauca

  • Nosotros invitamos a Occidental a responder, la respuesta está disponible
Foro de los Pueblos sobre Derechos Humanos y Empresas 2014 concluye hoy, 1ero. de octubre, en Bogotá, Colombia - Únase al debate online

Costa Rica: Empresas promueven políticas de respeto por la diversidad sexual entre sus trabajadores y trabajadoras

El Financiero (Costa Rica)

México: Autoridades laborales abren convocatoria para empresas que deseen adquirir el distintivo “libre de trabajo infantil”, hasta enero de 2015

Nueva Juarez News TV (México)

Académicos/as envían carta al presidente de Colombia pidiendo protección contra minería ilegal a territorios colectivos de comunidades negras

Grupo de Académicos e Intelectuales en Defensa del Pacifico Colombiano, GAIDEPAC

Nicaragua: ONG plantean críticas ante los anuncios de HKND sobre planes para construir canal interoceánico

CDES (Ecuador/Estados Unidos)

"Fracturando la tierra para extraer los recursos": Confereencia sobre Fracking en Colombia (2 de octubre, Bogotá)

Ambiente y Sociedad, Censat Agua Viva, Corpohumadea, Instituto Pensar, RJAC y Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking

Centrafrique : Le gouvernement demande la levée de l'embargo sur son diamant

La Voix de l'Amérique

Un groupe de réflexion propose une déclaration des droits de l’homme numérique pour protéger les données privées de la sphère commerciale

ITespresso (France)

  • Apple interdira le stockage de certaines données personelles de santé sur son service iCloud
Sénégal : Groupe Tampieri, principal actionnaire de Senhuile, relance le dialogue avec les communautés qui accusent le projet de violations de leurs droits fonciers

Peuples Solidaires et ActionAid (France)

Un journaliste souligne l’importance pour les entreprises d’intégrer les droits de l’homme et la différence avec la RSE


France : Les syndicats s’inquiètent des conditions de travail sur le chantier européen ITER

Observatoire des multinationales (France)

Maroc : Le Conseil national des droits de l’homme présente ses initiatives de sensibilisation pour intégrer le respect des droits de l’homme dans les entreprises

MAP (Maghreb Arab Press)

Sénégal : La société civile veut apporter sa contribution à la révision du code minier

Sud Quotidien ; ; Agence de Presse Sénégalaise (Sénégal)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre takes no position on the views presented by commentators, organisations and companies in the materials listed in this email or linked to in our website. As with any library, our purpose is to provide access to a wide selection of materials representing diverse viewpoints on matters of public interest. We do not exercise any editorial control over the materials and do not vouch for their accuracy.

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