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Weekly Update - 13 April 2016

Lead Story
Mexico: Over 30 NGOs & trade unions call on Lexmark to respect human rights & freedom of association in Ciudad Juarez “maquila”

The Realilty Check; Guardian (UK)

  • signed by intl. & Mexican NGOs & trade unions including: AFL‐CIO, CEREAL, Communications Workers of America, Cross Border Network for Justice & Solidarity, GoodElectronics, IndustriALL, Intl. Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network
  • allegations include: dismissal of 120 workers attempting to organise, threats and intimidation, "extraodinarily" low wages, sexual harassment
  • we invited Lexmark to respond; response provided
Photo credit: Asamblea Popular Regional Paso del Norte (via Facebook)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
New company responses to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s outreach on working conditions in the Gulf construction industry
  • new responses from Al Futtaim Carillion, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke regarding UAE operations
  • Al Habtoor Group, Brookfield Multiplex, FCC, Meydan Sobha declined to respond
Videos & blogs highlight important cases and perspectives ahead of Asia Forum on Business & Human Rights, 19-20 April 
  • video interviews on expectations for companies & govts. in Asia
  • blog: Brands’ supply chain environmental management can help solve conflicts with local communities
  • documentaries focus on important cases in Kazakhstan & Myanmar
Save the date: "Companies & Climate Change: Legal Liability & Human Rights Challenges After Paris/COP21" (5 May, Washington DC)

Save the date: "Strategic Litigation on Modern Slavery in Global Value Chains" (17 May, London)
Nestlé publishes "Creating Shared Value" report in line with UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework

Further to last Update: Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank & Vanguard respond to FacingFinance report analysing companies’ human rights practices

RightingFinance launches series of advocacy tools on tax policy & human rights

Apple reports 100% of refiners of tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold for its products now participating in independent audits on ties to conflict in Dem. Rep. of Congo

Bloomberg; Enough Project; Elm Sustainability Partners

Panama Papers: When tax abuse is human rights abuse - Center for Economic and Social Rights
Nigeria: President Buhari blames MTN for Boko Haram attacks, says unregistered SIM cards were used to plan attacks

Foreign Policy

  • we invited MTN to respond; response provided
Tanzania: Tax tribunal says Acacia Mining evaded tax between 2010 & 2014; article includes company's response

Guardian (Tanzania); Tanzania Daily News

Kenya: Report urges companies in extractive sector to conduct human rights due diligence in their operations & business relationships

Institute for Human Rights and Business & Kenya Natl. Commission on Human Rights

Brazil: JBS and 4Buzz accused of defaming human rights journalist & contributing to increasing threats and aggression; companies deny allegations

Guardian (UK); Folha de S. Paulo/Translation Reporter Brasil (Brazil)

USA: Former CEO of Massey Energy sentenced to prison for workplace safety violations, after 2010 explosion killed 29

New York Times

El Salvador: New study says OceanaGold's mining activities promoted through El Dorado Foundation could cause conflict & violence

Miningwatch Canada, Michigan Univ. & Institute for Policy Studies; Intl. Allies Against Mining in El Salvador; CoLatino

  • we invited OceanaGold to respond; response provided
Asia & Pacific
India: POSCO to exit from the steel project opposed by villagers in Odisha over environmental impacts

Business Standard

Bangladesh: 4 killed in protests over setting up power plant 

Daily Star (Bangladesh)

  • we invited the companies involved in the power plant, HTG Development Group & S Alam Group to respond
    • S Alam Group response provided
    • HTG Development Group did not respond
Malaysia: Kellogg, Mars & Unilever to drop supplier IOI Group following suspension from sustainable palm oil group over environmental & social concerns

Straits Times; Mongabay 

Myanmar: New govt. to review social & environmental impacts of Chinese-led major projects

Wall Street Journal 

  • unofficial Chinese language translation by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre available here
India: Assessment of community empowerment model developed by NGO MSEMVS to eradicate forced & bonded labour

François Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard Univ.

Europe & Central Asia
Mongolia: NGO leader imprisoned for opposing illegal mining; charges allegedly fabricated

No to Mining

Overview of Swiss companies finds 60% lack human rights policy

Bread for All & Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund

Middle East & North Africa
Amnesty Intl. report documents migrant worker abuse on construction of Qatar’s Khalifa Stadium, cites companies in contracting chain
  • report finds evidence of  “systematic abuse” & widespread failure of human rights due diligence
  • cites concerns regarding conduct & impacts of: FIFA, Aspire Zone Foundation, Midmac, Six Construct (Besix), Eversendai, Nakheel Landscapes, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy,  Qatar Govt. - these entities responded to the report, directly or with public statements
  • report also cites Seven Hills Trading & Contracting, Blue Bay Trading & Contracting
Jordan: NGO Tamkeen directs 86 reports to govt.'s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit during 2015
Company responses Non-responses
Final reminder: Invitation to sign joint statement calling on G7 to fulfil supply chain commitments (open until 15 Apr)

Survey on collaboration between judicial & non-judicial practitioners to support victims of business-related human rights abuses (deadline: 29 Apr)

Final reminder: Call for applications: UN Working Group member from Western Europe, North America, Australia & New Zealand (due 14 Apr)
Forthcoming events:
  • webinar: illicit goods in minerals supply chains (14 Apr, online)
  • seminar on intl. investment treaties & human rights (14 Apr, Ottawa)
  • 2016 Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights (19 Apr, Doha)
  • human rights impact assessment lab (19 Apr, Copenhagen)
  • sustainable apparel forum (19 Apr, London)
  • impact of UK Modern Slavery Act on Global Compact participants (19 Apr, online)
  • workshop on business & human rights (19 Apr, 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)
  • 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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