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Weekly Update - 16 March 2016

Lead Story
Brazil: Samarco (joint venture BHP Billiton and Vale) agrees to pay USD 6 billion settlement to govt. over dam burst

Reuters; Climate Progress; CNN Money

  • mining disaster killed 19 people & caused severe environmental damage
  • prosecutors claim settlement favours company, does not guarantee payment for populations not included in settlement talks

(photo credit: Senado Federal)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Public registry to monitor company compliance with UK Modern Slavery Act

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and CORE Coalition

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre vacancies
Civil society calls on G7 to renew commitments to business & human rights at G7 Summit

Save the Children Japan, World Vision Japan, CSO Network Japan, Human Rights Watch, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

  • Nelson Garcia reportedly killed during police eviction of group from occupied land; Dutch development bank FMO suspends activities in Honduras
  • comments from UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders & Navi Pillay, ex-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; other UN experts endorse the call
Report & briefing note on land-based investments & grievances

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Oxfam & FIDH launch human rights impact assessment training manual for communities affected by business activities

The impact of corporate tax avoidance on women's rights

Tax Justice Network

Report: "Profit over human rights? Gold mining in Burkina Faso and Switzerland’s responsibility”

Action de Carême and Pain pour le prochain

  • full report in French only; unofficial translation of press release in English
  • we invited Amara Mining, Iamgold, Nordgold to respond - responses provided
Kenya: Locals oppose Amu Power's coal-fired power project due to environmental & health concerns; includes company comments  


Mozambique: Justiça Ambiental raises concerns about impacts of ProSavana project on communities' land rights & livelihoods


USA: Lawsuit filed against CEO of ad agency JWT & parent company WPP over alleged racial & gender discrimination


  • alleges "unending stream of racist and sexist comments” & other misconduct; CEO denies allegations
Brazil: Fishermen & residents demand justice for violations to health, housing & environment by ThyssenKrupp

Comunicação Pacs, Instituto Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul

  • full story in Portuguese & German only; summary available in English
  • we invited ThyssenKrupp to respond - response provided (in German)
Costa Rica: Coalition formed in 2011 for responsible pineapple production still waits for Dole, Del Monte, Chiquita to join, says analyst

Leon Kaye, in Triple Pundit

Asia & Pacific
Thailand: 5 fishing boat captains, 3 Indonesians sentenced for enslavement in seafood industry

Associated Press

Philippines: Criminal charges filed against company owner & city officials for 2015 Kentex factory fire that killed 74 workers


India: Unilever signs settlement with ex-employees over alleged mercury poisoning


China: Thousands of Longmay Mining workers protest over unpaid wages, after governor's statement that miners had been paid on time

New York Times

Indonesia: Multi-stakeholder group formed to help solve problem of forest fires, includes leading forestry & agricultural companies

Jakarta Globe

Europe & Central Asia
Council of Europe adopts recommendations on business & human rights to member states

Committee of Ministers, Council of Europe; European Coalition for Corporate Justice

  • NGOs welcome adoption of recommendations
UK: Sports Direct boss threatened with contempt of parliament after failing to give evidence to MPs about treatment of workers

Guardian (UK)

  • follows investigation finding poor working conditions & salaries below minimum wage for thousands of workers
  • article includes statement by founder 
France: Bill on mandatory corporate human rights & environmental due diligence jeopardised by lengthy legislative process, says academic

Arnaud Poitevin, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité

Azerbaijan: Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization rejoinder to SOCAR response on workplace health & safety abuses
  • further to our 2 March Update
Middle East & North Africa
Palestinian campaign groups claim victory as G4S announces it is to sell off operations in Israel


  • G4S says move is a business decision
Turkey: Union rejoinder to Hugo Boss alleges anti-union activities are continuing at factory


  • we invited Hugo Boss to respond - response provided
Company responses
Call for applications: UN Working Group on business & human rights member from Western Europe, North America, Australia & New Zealand (due 14 Apr)

Register for 2016 Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights (deadline: 1 Apr)

OHCHR seeking comments on their consultation draft for Accountability & Remedy Project (deadline: 1 Apr)
Forthcoming events:
  • human rights impact of Nicaraguan Canal (18 Mar, Washington DC)
  • Civil G7 Meeting, preceding G7 Summit (22-23 Mar, Kyoto)
  • building supply security & resilience with smallholder farmers (22-23 Mar, London)
  • corporations, globalisation & women's rights (23 Mar, New York)
  • roundtable on impact of UN Guiding Principles (29 Mar, Washington DC)
  • debate: effectiveness of workers' rights campaigns (31 Mar, London)
  • speaker event on private sector support for SDGs (31 Mar, New York)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre vacancies

Other current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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