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Weekly Update - 17 June 2015

Lead Story
OECD Watch report calls on govts. to strengthen Natl. Contact Point complaint system to better address human rights abuses by companies key findings include:
  • complaints lodged "almost never resulted in companies being held accountable"
  • only 1% of complaints examined led to directly improved conditions for victims
  • NCPs often demanding excessively high burden of proof
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia

Middle East & North Africa

G7 Leaders' declaration provides strong support for UN Guiding Principles on business & human rights
  • UN Working Group says G7's commitment to promote human rights in supply chains must be followed by action
  • Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable makes 7 recommendations for action
Intl. Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) releases its 2015 Global Rights Index
  • 10 worst countries for working people are: Belarus, China, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland & United Arab Emirates
  • also available in German, French & Spanish
UN Working Group on business & human rights calls for "accountability of public & private sectors" in sustainable development before UN Human Rights Council
  • urges alignment with human rights of sustainable development goals, climate change targets, major trade & investment agreements now under negotiation 
  • also available: full annual report of UN Working Group to Human Rights 
Updates on Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Accountability & Remedy Project:
  • progress report to UN Human Rights Council
  • 2 working papers on roles and responsibilities of interested states 
“What human rights?” Why some companies speak out while others don’t

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre on Open Global Rights

UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea releases report alleging forced labour at Nevsun mines

Vice News

  • article includes comments by Nevsun
  • also provided: our summary profile of case against Nevsun alleging forced labour
Dem. Rep. of Congo: Soco Intl. paid army major whose troops allegedly tortured opponents of drilling in Virunga national park, says Global Witness

Telegraph (UK)

  • Soco denies ties to violence
So. Sudan: Nestlé's Nespresso works with anti-poverty group Technoserve in effort to help small coffee farmers boost output, reduce country's reliance on oil

Nespresso; Time

Ghana: Human Rights Watch denounces use of child labour in unlicensed mines

Human Rights Watch; Al Jazeera

  • with responses to Human Rights Watch by intl. refiners sourcing from Ghana: Kaloti Precious Metals, Metalor Technologies, Rand Refinery
  • other refiners named as sourcing from Ghana: Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux, Emirates Gold, Kundan
Brazil: Community affected by 2016 Olympic Park construction violently evicted by govt.; victims allege construction companies have interest in their removal 

Guardian (UK)

Nicaragua: 15,000 farmers march against canal project to defend land rights

Global Construction Review (UK)

  • law reportedly compels residents to sell their land to canal developer HKND at whatever price the company offers
Canada: Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario awards record general damages against food company Presteve over sexual harassment of migrant workers 

Rubin Thomlinson LLP, on Lexology (UK)

Asia & Pacific
"Business & human rights in Malaysia: A report from Kuala Lumpur"

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • highlights gaps in labour rights, including on MRT transport project; women at risk in workplace; land rights; trade & human rights; and positive actions now underway
Companies investing in Myanmar have moral obligation to take public stand against persecution of Rohingya, says expert

Michael Kourabas, Triple Pundit

Indonesia: Greenpeace resumes collaboration with Asia Pulp & Paper, saying it is satisfied with company's response to killing of a farmer by security guards


China: Dangerous sandblasting technique allegedly used in jeans factories producing for Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and American Eagle

Just-style; Al Jazeera

  • articles include company statements
Chinese Govt. detains two former members of human rights group Yirenping

Guardian (UK)

  • fears of crackdown on civil society, including groups focussed on business impacts
  • Yirenping works on sexual harassment, food safety, workplace discrimination
Europe & Central Asia
"EU Regulation on Conflict Minerals: What the European Parliament Vote Means for Member States"

 Amnesty Intl. & Global Witness

Ukraine: 5 killed, 14 injured in fire at oil depot 


Ikea pledges 1 billion EUR to renewable energy & climate change


Middle East & North Africa
China reportedly forbids its construction workers from building Israeli settlements

RT (Russia)

ILO report says migrant labourers still lack basic rights in Arab region

Times of Oman

Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • side-event on caste-based forced & bonded labour (Geneva, 18 Jun)
  • improving corporate accountability via indicators & benchmarks (Paris, 19 Jun)
  • documentary film on impact of big-business tax avoidance (London, 19 Jun)
  • workshop: "Operationalising the UN Guiding Principles" (London, 2-3 Jul, registration deadline 19 Jun)
  • course on EICC Labor & Ethics Validated Audit Process (Penang, 22-26 Jun)
  • human rights explained from a business perspective (Århus, 22-23 Jun)
  • the role of media in transitional justice processes (Oxford, 22-23 Jun)
  • training on due diligence for business (London, 23 Jun)
  • access to justice for victims of corporate human rights abuse (Tilburg, 23 Jun)
  • human rights impacts of large-scale investment projects (London, 24 Jun)
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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