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Weekly Update - 15 April 2015

Lead Story
India: Govt. suspends Greenpeace's license and foreign funding; NGOs concerned about govt.'s "attempts to silence criticism and dissent"

Economic Times; (India); Press Trust of India

  • govt. official says Greenpeace uses funds to "stall crucial development projects"
  • civil society raises concerns over freedom of expression & clampdown for opposing infrastructure projects - many NGOs have also seen funds blocked
  • courts ruled govt.'s previous suspension of funds was arbitrary & ordered unfreezing

(photo credit: Greenpeace)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

4 former Blackwater guards sentenced to long prison terms by US court over 2007 killings of Iraqi civilians

New York Times

  • also provided: case profile of lawsuit
Further to our previous Update: Food companies respond to Oxfam's updated Behind the Brands scorecard on social & environmental issues
  • we invited the 10 ranked companies to respond; ABF, Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Nestlé, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Unilever responded; Mars has not yet responded
  • companies were also invited to provide information on steps to mitigate climate change impacts on vulnerable people in supply chains
Reminder: Call for session proposals for 2015 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (due 1 May)

"Business and Human Rights Due Diligence Project" to provide practical recommendations for business on due diligence

Norton Rose Fulbright & British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Fair Wear Foundation launches portal highlighting garment workers' challenges in securing a living wage

Electronics industry organization to eliminate fees paid by workers to recruiters, which can lead to debt bondage

Wall Street Journal (USA); Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

"Hollow Promises" report alleges Golden Veroleum Liberia project is "compounding poverty and food insecurity"; includes company statement

Forest Peoples Programme

Kenya govt. suspends 14 money remittance firms & 4 bus companies for alleged links with terrorism; money remittance industry association responds

Daily Nation (Kenya)

Africa: NGOs collaborate to respond to illicit financial flows

Pan African Lawyers Union

Colombia: Indigenous leader opposing illegal mining is killed

Forest Peoples Intl.

  • community leaders concerned about threats linked to financial interests in gold reserves
US Govt. holds final consultation for National Action Plan on business & human rights - submissions & commentary
  • includes recommendations by Amnesty Intl. USA & commentary by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Brazil: Interview with Danilo Chammas of Justiça nos Trilhos about impacts of major mining project on rights of local communities; includes comments by Vale

Interview conducted by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Asia & Pacific
China: Govt. threatens to shut down major news site Sina unless it "improves censorship"

Variety; ChannelNewsAsia

Myanmar: New "Human Rights and Business Country Guide" launched

Danish Institute for Human Rights; Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business

Indonesia: Court annuls water privatisation contracts of Suez & Aetra over negligence in providing access to water for Jakarta residents

Public Services Intl.

Japan: NGOs publish guidelines for seeking free, prior & informed consent in UN's "REDD+" projects

Global Environmental Forum; Japan Tropical Forest Action Network

  • 日本:FPICガイドライン~森林開発・保全プロジェクトに不可欠なセーフガードツールとして
Japan: Human rights impacts of Tokyo 2020 Olympics preparation

Compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Europe & Central Asia
Greece: Report raises concerns about Eldorado Gold's environmental impacts & tax avoidance via Dutch mailbox companies

Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)

  • we invited Eldorado Gold to respond - response provided
Kazakhstan: UN Rapporteur finds widespread evidence of harmful waste from natural resource extraction, posing serious risk to health

2 UK business leaders call for law on modern slavery to be toughened

Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group & Ray O’Rourke, Chairman of Lang O’Rourke, in Huffington Post (USA)

Middle East & North Africa
US court rejects Arab Bank's appeal of verdict finding it liable for providing financial assistance to Hamas


Bahrain: One in 10 buildings housing workers are “unsafe”, says labour ministry official

Trade Arabia

Company responses Non-responses
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Forthcoming events:
  • role of business in tackling human rights impacts of climate change (online, 16 Apr)
  • consultation on US Natl. Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct (Washington DC, 16 Apr)
  • guidance for companies on respecting human right to water & sanitation (online, 21 Apr)
  • building a community of practice between business & indigenous peoples (New York, 23 Apr)
  • "Business & Human Rights: Trends, Challenges & the Road Ahead" (Washington DC, 23-24 Apr)
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:  
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