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Weekly Update - 27 January 2016

Lead Story
Groups call for renewal & strengthening of US Govt.'s Reporting Requirements for Responsible Investment in Burma
  • requires US investors investing at least USD 500,000 to report on human rights & land use policies, contact with military, payments to Burmese Govt.
  • submissions from Amnesty Intl., Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Institute for Human Rights and Business, Intl. Commission of Jurists, Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable, Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business

(Photo credit: Intl. Committee of the Red Cross)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Upcoming webinar: Business & Responsible Taxation (18 Feb, online)

UN Global Compact and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin now available in Chinese
  • subscribe here to receive future issues
Commentary: Plight of Syrian refugees in Turkish factories sending shock-waves through garment industry

Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, on Huffington Post (UK)

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting: Davos 2016
  • civil society forms alliance to tackle root causes of inequality
  • only 50% of CEOs consider climate change a threat to business growth
  • Dan Bross of Microsoft on the importance of dialogue on LGBT issues at Forum
Modern slavery & corruption
  • Verité examines 3 migrant worker recruitment corridors – Nepal to Qatar, Myanmar to Malaysia, Myanmar to Thailand
  • Liberty Asia analyses US & UK law
  • both reports supported by Freedom Fund
500+ orgs. call on UN Working Group to investigate human rights & environmental impacts of fracking

Josh Fox, Jorge Daniel Taillant & Paloma Munoz Quick (along with 500+ signatories)

UN Secretary-General urges business to be involved in achieving Sustainable Development Goals

UN News Centre

HSBC, Walmart on why a responsible response to climate change is profitable


So. Africa: Labour groups call on govt. to stop abuse of migrant farm workers

Voice Of America

  • claim some workers assaulted by farm owners after demanding pay for overtime
Zambia: Homes crumbling due to collapsing Nkandabwe Coal Mines tunnels - MP urges company to compensate displaced families

Lusaka Times (Zambia)

  • articles include comments from company
Uganda: How presidential candidates would manage oil & minerals if elected

Oil in Uganda

USA: Lawyer "became DuPont's worst nightmare" by uncovering toxic pollution, seeking to hold it accountable

New York Times Magazine

Brazil: Journal from Ministry of Justice addresses amnesty, transitional justice & business complicity in human rights violations in dictatorships
  • only available in Portuguese
USA: 21 children file climate change lawsuit against govt. for promoting fossil fuels

Our Children's Trust; Columbia Daily Tribune (USA)

Asia & Pacific
China: NGO reports inadequate improvements to working conditions at Fast Retailing's factories

Human Rights Now

  • response by Uniqlo (part of Fast Retailing) provided - currently in Japanese only
Cambodia: Govt. official & industry groups urge businesses to settle disputes in arbitration, not courts, raising concerns of access to justice

Khmer Times (Cambodia)

Papua New Guinea: Enodo Rights releases assessment of Barrick Gold’s Porgera Remedy Framework

Further to 22 Jan Update: Hasbro responds to concerns regarding working conditions at Dongguan Zhenyang toy factory
  • previous responses by Disney, Mattel, Tai Nam Industrial also provided - Mattel & Hasbro both said they had ceased sourcing from the factory
Malaysia: Nepal Embassy reports alarming rate of “sudden unexpected deaths” among Nepali migrant workers, attributed to harsh working conditions


Europe & Central Asia
Armenia: Residents demand compensation for "harms" to health & environment by tailing dump, operated by Dundee Precious Metals

EcoLur Network

  • we invited Dundee Precious Metals to respond - response provided
UK ratifies landmark ILO protocol to combat forced labour, slavery & trafficking

Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI); Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX); Intl. Labour Organization (ILO)

Greece: Migrant workers sue govt. at European Court of Human Rights over alleged failure to prevent human trafficking

Greek Reporter

Middle East & North Africa
Iran: Business, human rights & the lifting of sanctions

The Two-Way (USA)

Concerns over Etisalat's role in internet service shut-downs in Egypt, Morocco

Access Now

  • we invited Etisalat to respond but it has not
Egypt: Residents file lawsuit against Titan Cement for using coal in residential areas, impacting their health

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; Daily News Egypt

Company responses Non-responses
Nordea Asset Management joins the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark team
Forthcoming events:
  • expert panel discussion on working conditions in So. Africa (29 Jan, London)
  • legal training on business & human rights (6-7 Feb, London)
  • lessons from Bodo Community v Shell litigation (16 Feb, Oxford)
  • conference: just taxation of multi-natl. corps. (18 Feb, Berlin) 
  • human rights law & the extractive industries (18-19 Feb, Panama City)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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