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Weekly Update - 15 March 2017

Lead Story
Corporate Human Rights Benchmark releases first ranking results on human rights performance of 98 companies
  • ranks top companies from 3 sectors: agricultural products/food & beverage, apparel & extractive industries
  • small number of companies lead in each industry, but most receive low scores
  • key findings report highlights overall trends & emerging practices companies can emulate
  • includes investor statement in support of CHRB 
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East &
North Africa

From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Blog: How many more deaths? Companies and human rights defenders: some thoughts from Latin America

Karen Hudlet, Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher & Representative, in Equal Times

FIFA establishes independent human rights advisory board including representatives of NGOs, trade unions to advise on implementation of its commitments


Study reveals companies subject to California Transparency Act performing better on anti-slavery policy & practice


US judge dismisses lawsuit against Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Nestlé over alleged child slavery in Côte d'Ivoire


Commentary: Proposed business & human rights treaty could be used to establish binding obligations on states to reform intl. investment agreements

Prof. Dr. Markus Krajewski, Univ. of Erlangen-Nürnberg, for CIDSE


Verisk Maplecroft sets out 10 human rights issues impacting business in 2017 
Kenya: Local NGO Save Lamu files lawsuit to halt Amu Power's coal plant over fears it will harm local environment & livelihoods, exacerbate climate change


Cameroon: Access Now & local civil society urge telecommunications companies to restore internet access after shutdowns target Anglophone regions

Association for Progressive Communications; Access Now; United Nations; CNN; Global Network Initiative; Amnesty Intl.; African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

  • we invited Orange, MTN and Nexttel/Viettel to respond - Orange responded; we will indicate in a future Update whether MTN and Nexttel/Viettel respond
So. Africa: NGOs urge Constitutional Court to safeguard distribution of social grants to elderly, disabled & other vulnerable beneficiaries - say private administrator Cash Paymaster Services has exploited the system & beneficiaries 

News24; Black Sash Trust & Centre for Applied Legal Studies

USA: Judge declines to halt construction of Dakota Access Pipeline, dismissing requirements of Native American tribe's religious practices

Associated Press

Honduran farmers sue Intl. Finance Corp. in US for funding palm oil companies accused of land grabbing & violence

EarthRights Intl.; Financial Times; Intl. Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Brazil: Govt. launches programme to trace illegal logging following reports of attacks on protected indigenous lands

Insight Crime 

Asia & Pacific
China: Inclusive Development Intl. publishes practical guide on safeguarding communities & the environment in overseas investments

New Zealand: Govt. takes exemplary steps including legal reform to eliminate slavery on fishing vessels, says award-winning journalist

Business Day

India: 31 workers convicted, 117 acquitted in trial over factory fire & manager's death following protests over precarious work at Maruti Manesar auto plant

Live Mint

  • lawyer for workers says Maruti Suzuki & police manipulated evidence
Japan: Trade Union Confederation agree to overtime limit of 100 hours per month


Europe & Central Asia
Montenegro: Air pollution by Pljevlja lignite power plant allegedly causes respiratory damage among locals

CEE Bankwatch Network

  • we invited Electric Enterprise AD Niksic (EPCG), owner of power plant, to respond - response provided
Investigation finds Eastern European lorry drivers exploited in IKEA's supply chain

BBC News

Norway: Govt. pension fund drops 10 firms over environmental concerns re links to coal, engages with textile sector on protection of refugee workers in Turkey


France: 75 NGOs, trade unions, law firms, academics & others from 16 countries express support for corporate due diligence law facing constitutional challenge

European Coalition for Corporate Justice 

Italy: Sexual abuse & slave-like conditions reportedly widespread for Romanian farmworkers in Sicilian greenhouses


Middle East & North Africa
"How do Syrian refugee workers challenge supply chain management in the Turkish garment industry?"

Intl. Migration Institute, Univ. of Oxford

  • paper analyses refugees' vulnerabilities but also their ability to change their living & working conditions
Syrian refugee's case against Facebook over hate speech rejected in German court

Zeit; Business Day; Telegraph; Bloomberg

Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • training on human rights risk & reporting (16 Mar, Stockholm)
  • panel discussion on Nigeria's fight against corruption (21 Mar, London)
  • debate on key principles of new corporate governance model (22 Mar, London)
  • roundtable meeting on US Natl. Action Plan (22 Mar, Washington DC)
  • conference on litigation as a business & human rights remedy (24 Mar, Galway)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Anna Liberadzki:  
Current vacancies:
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (2 posts: Programme Consultant; Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser)
  • Fair Food Standards Council (2 posts: Director of Complaint Resolution; Financial Analyst)
  • Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association (Executive Director)
  • Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Center for Business & Human Rights, New York Univ. (Deputy Director)
  • Social Accountability Intl. (Director of Finance & Administration/Operations)
Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  To submit a new job announcement in business & human rights please go here.
We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
Copyright © 2017 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

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