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Weekly Update - 1 February 2017

Lead Story
US Govt. bans entry for nationals of 7 majority-Muslim countries, all refugees - how is business responding?

The Verge; Reuters; Fortune; Guardian (UK), Oxfam (USA)

  • tech companies' CEOs take lead in denouncing immigration orders - Verge says
    Airbnb, Google, Lyft, Netflix, Salesforce among strongest responses, calls Adobe & Facebook’s “weak”; Oracle silent
  • Amazon, Expedia & Microsoft join lawsuit against travel ban
  • most CEOs in strategy forum advising Trump have been silent, including its chair Steven Schwarzman of private equity fund Blackstone
  • Starbucks CEO announces company will hire 10,000 refugees worldwide

(photo credit: Flickr)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, Business Human Rights Resource Centre, in Ethical Corporation


Southeast Asia Researcher & Representative (based in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila or Yangon, deadline 16 Feb)

Legal Research Intern (based in London, deadline 12 Feb)

Researcher & Representative for Jordan & Lebanon (based in Amman, deadline 9 Feb)
US Congress introduces law to undo "Dodd-Frank" regulations requiring oil, gas & mining firms to disclose payments to overseas govts. 

Senator Cardin & former Sen. Lugar; Human Rights Watch; Publish What You Pay US; Amnesty Intl. USA; Extractive Industry Initiative

  • US & intl. civil society denounces move, says regulations needed for transparency of extractive industry, to hold govts. accountable for how revenues are spent & fight corruption
  • most non-US companies already disclose same information in Europe & elsewhere - would create uneven playing field
Over 800 companies block rightwing & nationalist website Breitbart from their media plan

Sleeping Giants; Daily News & Analysis; Prince George Citizen; Associated Press

UK court rules Niger Delta communities cannot sue Shell in UK over oil pollution by its subsidiary in Nigeria

Leigh Day; Guardian (UK); Amnesty International

  • Amnesty Intl. says ruling "gives green light for corporations to profit from abuses"
  • plaintiffs say they will appeal
US judge dismisses lawsuit against Costco over prawns allegedly produced with forced labour in Thailand


IKEA wins design award for refugee shelter developed with UNHCR

Guardian (UK)

Responsible Recruitment Gateway: Tools for companies to help eliminate recruitment fees to migrant workers

Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment

  • participants in the Leadership Group on Responsible Recruitment include: Coca-Cola, HP, Unilever, Institute for Human Rights and Business & others
Angola: Maka Angola reports torture of miners by Bikuar security guards at diamond mining site; Bikuar, Sociedade Mineira do Cuango & ITM mining deny allegations

Maka Angola; Global Voices

  • with video of torture
  • we also invited Endiama to respond, but it did not
So. Africa: New human rights impact assessment report reveals devastating human toll of Blyvooruitzicht Mine liquidation

Bloomberg; Intl. Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) & Lawyers for Human Rights (So. Africa)

Tanzania: Govt. suspends operations at RZ Gold Mine as 15 miners trapped for 4 days at collapsed mine are rescued

The Citizen & The East African

Canadian court rules lawsuit against Tahoe Resources over shooting at protest against Guatemalan mine can proceed

Reuters; Business Vancouver; Court of Appeal of British Columbia; The Canadian Centre for International Justice; Tahoe Resources

  • summary profile of lawsuit available
  • in statement, company says it still believes case should be heard in Guatemala
Colombia: NGOs oppose alleged criminalisation of critic of Enel’s El Quimbo hydroelectric project

Frontline Defenders; OpenDemocracy

  • Professor Miller Dussan faces two criminal charges over his support for movement opposed to dam due to harms to local people
  • we invited Enel to respond; response provided
  • we invited Glencore to respond, response provided
Brazil: ILO urges govt. to distribute land to stop modern slavery after landmark ruling by Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Thomson Reuters Foundation; Intl. Trade Union Confederation

Asia & Pacific
Philippines: ILO, govt. agencies intensify fight against child labour with #1MBatangMalaya (1 Million Free Children) project


Indonesia: Ministry creates certification mechanism to address human rights abuses in fishing industry

Foundation for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST); Bangkok Post

Japan: Govt. bill on excessive hours to address "karoshi" or death from overwork would allow companies to require 100 hours overtime per month

Chunichi Shimbum

  • critics note deaths of people working over 80 hours overtime per month are presumed to be work-related
Myanmar: IFC reportedly promotes hydropower projects in conflict zones - local environmental NGOs say doing so worsens causes of conflict

S.H.A.N., in Burma News International

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's policy on access to information needs improvement, says new civil society analysis

Centre for Law and Democracy & Bank Information Center

Europe & Central Asia

UK: Gangmaster Licensing Authority & ILO join to address abusive recruitment practices leading to forced labour

Nigerian Tribune

UK Govt. commits to tackling pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

Guardian (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Egypt: Detention of workers after strike against International Foodstuffs Co (IFFCO)

Daily News (Egypt)

  • we invited IFFCO to respond; it did not
Certification of Moroccan solar projects in occupied Western Sahara by Vigeo Eiris "greenwashes" violations of intl. law & failure to consult local population, says NGO report

Western Sahara Resource Watch

  • we invited Vigeo Eiris to respond; response provided
  • we also invited Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy and Masen to respond; we will indicate whether the companies respond in a future Update
Company responses Non-responses
2017 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights - Call for information about projects on access to remedy (due: 8 Feb)
Forthcoming events:
  • Swiss Global Compact Dialogue 2017 on responsible business (2 Feb, Bern)
  • Alternative Mining Indaba (6-8 Feb, Cape Town)
  • Land rights, risk & conflict in Africa (9 Feb, Dakar)
  • Conference on responsible business (14 Feb, New Delhi)
  • Launch of Global Witness report on Honduras (15 Feb, London)
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 (Southeast Asia Researcher & Representative)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (Legal Research Intern)

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (Researcher & Representative for Jordan & Lebanon)

Other current vacancies:
  • Assent Compliance (Corporate Social Responsibility Analyst)
  • Foundation for investing in communities (Finance & Office Manager)
  • Intl. Labour Rights Forum (Corporate Accountability Program Coordinator)
  • Global Reporting Initiative (2 posts: Deputy Director & Manager, Sector Programme)
  • CDA Collaborative Learning Projects (Senior Advisor - Responsible Business)
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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