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Weekly Update - 10 August 2016

Lead Story
Business & human rights at UN Summit for Refugees & Migrants (New York, 19 Sep)

(Photo credit: ILO/Tabitha Ross)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Blog: "Copper, poverty and tax dodging: At the heart of Zambia’s high stakes elections"

Joy Mabenge, Research & Representative for Southern & Western Anglophone Africa

Guest blog: "Getting informed about unions is key to engaging workers in global supply chains"

Daniel Blackburn & Ciaran Cross, Intl. Centre for Trade Union Rights

New section on our site: Positive action by companies to protect civic freedoms Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is recruiting for interns (closing date: 29 Aug)
Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights publishes model clauses for agreements between govt. security forces & companies on human rights

Privacy Intl. releases new database to track global surveillance industry

Equitable Origin seeks input on standard for responsible energy development
  • draft standard refers to corporate governance, human rights, indigenous peoples' rights, fair labour & working conditions, climate change & environment
  • open for comments 1 Aug - 30 Sep
Executive chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi resigns after sexist comments going against company’s stance on diversity

Guardian (UK)

Zambia: 4 miners killed in separate incidents at Glencore mining shafts; company temporarily suspends production

Business Day (So. Africa)

  • production reportedly resumed following safety briefing for employees
Commentary: Economist says non-transparency of beneficial ownership of companies hampers efforts to curb illicit financial flows, meet Sustainable Development Goals

Pietro Toigo, African Natural Resource Center, in African Development Bank Group

  • says solution must be global, so African institutions must “strongly influence global initiatives”
Nigeria: Militant group accuses former president Goodluck Jonathan & other politicians of sponsoring Niger Delta Avengers' attacks on oil facilities; Jonathan denies allegations

Associated Press

  • we invited Siemens to respond; response provided
  • also available in German & Portuguese

Metro Weekly (USA)

Asia & Pacific
Update on human rights lawyers crackdown: Lawyer who represented victims in tainted milk lawsuit jailed for 7 years,

BBC, New York Times; Reuters

  • lawyer's colleague released from detention after videotaped confession suspected to have been coerced
  • China rejects criticism of crackdown on rights defenders by US Govt., EU
India: Amnesty Intl. report highlights impacts of Coal India mines on indigenous peoples, including displacement & environmental destruction

Amnesty Intl.; Guardian (UK); Business Standard (India)

  • Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable energy and Mines denies claims
  • we invited Coal India, South Eastern Coalfields, Central Coalfields & Mahanadi Coalfields to respond; they declined
Indonesian seaweed farmers launch class action lawsuit in Australia against PTTEP over loss of income caused by 2009 oil spill

Sydney Morning Herald

Virgin founder Richard Branson decries human rights abuses surrounding Philippine President Duterte’s war on drugs


Indonesia: Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil lifts suspension of IOI’s certification following company’s submission of action plan; environmental groups say move comes too early

Guardian (UK), Mongabay

Europe & Central Asia
Italy: Ex-CEO of Eternit faces manslaughter trial over deaths of 258 workers at asbestos cement plants

New Haven Register (USA)

UK: Woman detained after Thomson Airways crew member reports her for suspicious activity when seeing her reading a book about Syria

Guardian (UK)

  • free speech groups condemn the move; company defends employee’s action
Middle East & North Africa
Jordan: World Bank issues social assessment for programme to create jobs for Jordanians and Syrian refugees
  • refers to labour rights risks in Special Economic Zones, steps to address them, role of ILO's Better Work program
Morocco: Human Rights Watch says new domestic workers law is a significant improvement but fails to guarantee living wage
Company responses Non-responses
Call for contributions to 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed binding treaty on business & human rights (due: 1 Sep)

UN Working Group issues call for input on guidance for Natl. Action Plans on business & human rights (due: 16 Sep)
Forthcoming events:
  • legal framework & migrant worker rights in US & Canada (11 Aug, online)
  • webinar: "EO100 Standard for Responsible Energy Development" (11 Aug, online)
  • "Inside the ICAR Studio" speaker series: Motoko Aizawa (24 Aug, Washington DC, online)
  • workshop on inequality & human rights in global South (27 Aug - 3 Sep, Colombia)
  • conference on access to remedy for corporate human rights abuses (8 Sep, Brussels)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Internships at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Other current vacancies:
  • American Jewish World Service (Consultancy, Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Bank Information Center (AIIB Program Internship)
  • Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (Executive Director)
  • Global Justice Now (2 posts: Campaigns & Policy Officer, Corporate Power; Policy Officer, Trade)
  • UNICEF (Corporate Alliances Manager)
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:
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