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Weekly Update - 27 April 2016

Lead Story
Mexico: At least 32 dead & hundreds injured in explosion at Pemex petrochemical plant in Veracruz

Reuters; Associated Press

  • company says explosion caused by a leak but has not yet determined the source
  • concerns over toxic nature of the explosion & possible impacts on health

Photo credit: Noticias MVS(CC-BY-3.0)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Guest blog: How should businesses interact with the rule of law?

Timothy Hansen, Advocates for Intl. Development (A4ID)

Commentary: "The construction industry must step up on human rights"

Mariam Bhacker, in Guardian (UK)

Event: "Companies & Climate Change: Legal Liability & Human Rights Challenges After Paris/COP21" (5 May, Washington DC - RSVP required)

Event: "Strategic Litigation on Modern Slavery in Global Value Chains" (17 May, London - RSVP required)
60 NGOs issue joint statement calling on G7 to fulfill supply chain commitments

Save the Children Japan, World Vision Japan, CSO Network Japan, Human Rights Watch, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and others

  • at last year's summit G7 made commitments to ensure “responsible supply chains” but issue is missing from agenda of this year's summit in Ise-shima, Japan
Earth Day 2016: 175 countries sign Paris climate agreement, 100+ companies pledge to support implementation

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); New York Times; Ceres

  • experts say climate actions needs to be accelerated to meet Paris agreement goals
Top 10 food & beverage companies respond to Oxfam’s Behind the Brands social & environmental scorecard
  • company responses from Associated British Food, Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelez Intl., Nestlé, Pepsico, Unilever
"The Past, The Present and The Future of Social Accounting for Human Rights": Special journal issue on business & human rights

Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal

  • includes contributions from Claire Methven O'Brien, Danish Institute for Human Rights; Michael Posner, NYU Stern School of Business; eds.: Ken McPhail, Univ. of Manchester & John Ferguson, Univ. of St. Andrews
Paper assesses impact of US Supreme Court Kiobel decision on transnational litigation of corporate human rights abuses since 2013

Universidad Jaume I

Tanzania: Advocacy group appeals to Shanta Gold to compensate locals whose farms were destroyed by its operations

HakiMadini; Mlumbi Villagers (Tanzania)

  • also provided: Shanta Gold's response
Malawi: Locals allege toxic water from Paladin Energy uranium mine's tailing dam contaminating water sources

Tiwonge Kumwenda; Nyasa Times 

  • we invited Paladin Energy to respond; response provided
Nigeria: NGO says World Bank's public-private partnerships denying the poor access to water

TheCable; Premium Times

Over 180 organizations urge Canadian Prime Minister to "effectively" regulate Canadian mining companies and avoid human rights abuses in Latin America

Over 180 Latin American, Canadian & other NGOs; Due Process of Law Foundation

US Customs enforcement agency blocks goods from entering US under suspicion they were made with forced labour

Human Rights First; Quartz

"Colombia’s peace process needs an accountable extractives industry" says coalition of NGOs

Mesa de Sociedad Civil para la Transparencia en las Industrias Extractivas, on Open Society Foundations

Asia & Pacific
3rd anniversary of Rana Plaza collapse in which over 1,100 workers died - activists warn workers remain at risk 

Tribune; Daily Star; bdnews24; AFP; SHP; Thompson Reuters Foundation; Human Rights Watch; Clean Clothes Campaign; IndustriALL; Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh; Alliance for Workers’ Safety

Bangladesh: 7 protesting workers allegedly injured by bullets fired by guards employed by Kabir Steel 

Daily Star (Bangladesh)

  • we invited Kabir Steel to respond; response provided
Myanmar: Arbitration Council orders reinstatement & compensation of Han Jen garment factory worker in rare victory for labourer

Myanmar Times

India: NGO alleges human rights defender who opposed Vedanta mine was attacked by persons hired by the company; company says claims are "baseless"

Campaign for Survival and Dignity in

  • we invited Vedanta to respond; response provided
India: 13 years after shut down of bottling plant in Kerala, villagers allege they don't have clean drinking water, waiting for justice for effects of pollution


  • we invited Coca-Cola to respond; response provided
Europe & Central Asia
Al Jazeera goes undercover to investigate "Britain's Modern Slave Trade"

Al Jazeera

  • includes allegations of modern slavery at carwash used by Kia & Volvo dealerships - comments by companies included
UK: UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of association calls provisions in Trade Union Bill "profoundly undemocratic"

Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly & association

UK: Factory owner supplying Next & John Lewis convicted for trafficking workers from Hungary

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Middle East & North Africa
Jordan: Generating opportunities for decent work for Syrian refugees - challenges and opportunities

UNHCR; ILO; World Bank; Al Jazeera; Devex; NBC


FIFA President announces worker welfare monitoring system for Qatar 2022 World Cup

FIFA; Guardian (UK); BBC; Intl. Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

The Qatar dimension: 2016 Asia Regional Forum

Gulf Times; Peninsula Qatar; Live Mint; Construction Week; AFP

Company responses Non-responses
Call for paper proposals: Business & human rights conference (Seville, 20-21 Oct | proposals due 5 May)

Univ. of Seville (Spain), Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies (Belgium), BHRight Initiative

Forthcoming events:
  • seminar on Human Rights and Business (27 Apr, Rio de Janeiro)
  • Sustainable Extractives Forum (27 Apr, London)
  • course on compliance with UK Modern Slavery Act (28 Apr, London)
  • launch of Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment (4 May, London)
  • conference on how business can tackle modern slavery (5 May, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Vacancies at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  • Project Manager, Protection of Civic Space & Human Rights Defenders (due 3 May)
  • China Researcher & Representative, based in Beijing, China (due 16 May)
  • Communications Internship (due 2 May)
  • IT & Digital Security Volunteer (rolling application)
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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