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Weekly Update - 3 June 2015

Lead Story
Cambodia: NGO report finds exploitative working conditions at garment factories supplying international brands

Human Rights Now (Japan), Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union

  • we invited companies mentioned in the report to respond - responses provided by Celio, H&M, Inditex, Marks & Spencer, Fast Retailing
  • Adler Modemärkte indicated it will respond; we will indicate whether Nygard responds in a future update
  • report also available in Japanese

(Photo credit: ILO)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

UN experts voice concern over adverse impact of free trade & investment agreements on human rights

Swiss Attorney General will not prosecute Argor-Heraeus over refining of gold allegedly pillaged by illegal armed group in Dem. Rep. of Congo

Conflict Awareness Project, Open Society Justice Initiative, TRIAL, Berne Declaration, AFP

Nominations open for chairperson of 2015 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (deadline: 15 Aug)
  • as per regional rotation, candidates are invited from Latin America & Caribbean or Eastern Europe
Treaty Alliance joint statement calls for signatures in favour of proposed binding treaty to enhance corporate legal accountability for rights abuses Commentary: Company responses to human rights reports as an indicator of compliance with human rights responsibilities

Menno T. Kamminga, Maastricht University

Mozambique: Lurio River Valley Development Agriculture Project criticised for causing displacement & lack of consultation

Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities & GRAIN

  • we invited Agricane & TurConsult to respond - response on behalf of both companies provided
World Economic Forum on Africa (Cape Town, 3-5 June): Reflections on business & human rights from civil society
  • also available: webcast of Forum sessions 
Tanzania: European Parliament urges EU companies to protect indigenous people threatened with displacement for agribusiness

Pastoralists Indigenous Non-Govermental Organisations Forum

Panama: Independent panel finds Dutch & German development banks violated their own human rights & environmental standards by financing Barro Blanco dam

SOMO, Both ENDS, Movimiento 10 de Abril, AIDA, Carbon Market Watch, Urgewald & CIEL

  • complaint to banks' independent complaints mechanism raised concerns about harms to Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous community
Honduras: Garifuna people face criminal charges for defending land where Indura Beach & Golf Resort complex is located 
  • we invited Trust Hospitality, the resort operator, to respond - response provided (allegations only available in Spanish)
Colombia: Former Drummond executive charged with 2001 murder of 2 trade unionists

Colombia Reports

Asia & Pacific
Bangladesh Accord announces Concord Fashion Export & Jeacon as first two factories to complete safety recommendations


Australia: Mithaka people make submission to Special Rapporteur on rights of indigenous peoples re threats to traditional lands by oil & gas exploitation

Malaysia: Villagers sue Tenaga Nasional energy company over alleged land grabs

Malay Mail Online (Malaysia)

Indian food safety inspectors file criminal complaint against Nestlé India over high lead levels in Maggi noodles

Wall Street Journal

India: Uber taxi service's safety questioned again as woman accuses driver of molestation

Indian Express

Europe & Central Asia
Amnesty Intl. & Omega Research Foundation call on EU to close loopholes allowing trade of torture equipment

European oil & gas companies seek to engage with UN to help devise global carbon pricing system to combat climate change

Financial Times

  • group includes BG, BP, Eni, Shell, Statoil & Total
Middle East & North Africa
Union files OECD complaint against FIFA with Swiss National Contact Point alleging human rights failures re migrant construction workers in Qatar

Building and Wood Worker's Intl.

Amnesty Intl. researcher refused entry to United Arab Emirates to speak on companies' responsibility to respect rights of migrant workers in the Gulf

Associated Press

ILO & Palestinian officials say Palestinian workers face "precarious & exploitative" working conditions in Israel

Video News (Turkey)

Company responses Non-responses
Call by NGOs to join Global Week of Action for #TaxJustice (16-23 Jun)

Global Alliance for Tax Justice

Call for feedback on concept note on a possible legally binding instrument for the regulation of private military security companies (deadline: 30 Jun)

Working Group on the use of mercenaries

Event: "Corporate Action for Climate Justice & Human Rights" (Geneva, 17 Jun)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Other forthcoming events:
  • lessons for future strategies on corporate impacts from Phulbari (London, 4 Jun)
  • the legal profession's leadership on business & human rights (Geneva, 8-9 Jun)
  • capacity development workshop on business & human rights (Copenhagen, 11-12 Jun)
  • HUMAN conference: "Towards Social Impact" (Amsterdam, 16 Jun)
  • panel on conflict minerals & human rights (New York, 16 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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