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Weekly Update - 23 March 2016

Lead Story
World’s first ranking of largest companies’ human rights performance begins
  • after 2 years of development, Corporate Human Rights Benchmark releases methodology to be used in pilot ranking
  • top 100 companies from the agricultural products, apparel & extractives industries will be assessed
  • results will be released in Nov 2016
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Guest blog: Workers’ rights must be protected in the face of low-value activities with slim profit margins

Ruth Kelly, Programme Policy Manager, ActionAid UK

Guest blog: Can a consensus be reached on the French Duty of Care Bill?

Anna Triponel, Business and Human Rights Advisor

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre vacancies Sign up to our free German language monthly newsletter
Shift publishes database of companies reporting on implementing the UN Guiding Principles
  • includes 30 companies; based on UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework
Fairtrade Intl. launches textile standard & programme aiming to protect workers
  • Clean Clothes Campaign says standard diverts responsibility away from brands, dangerously relies on certification & inspections, fails to require living wage
Industry, unions, civil society & Dutch Govt. present agreement on intl. responsible business conduct in garment sector

Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands

Commentary: Law firms “cannot afford to be laggards” on business & human rights - urges firms to conduct due diligence before signing new clients

Law Society Gazette (UK)

Summary of Anglo American's toolkit for managing socio-economic impacts of extractive project closure

Ethical Corp.

Tanzania & Dem. Rep. of Congo: NGOs highlight flaws in company complaints mechanisms claiming to follow intl. business & human rights frameworks

RAID & MiningWatch Canada

  • report concerns mechanisms of Acacia Mining & Kamoto Copper Corp. (owned by Glencore)
  • we invited Acacia Mining & Glencore to respond - responses provided
Uganda: Report says oil exploration has compromised food security & displaced locals in oil-rich region

Natl. Association of Professional Environmentalists

Dem. Rep. of Congo:  Eurasian Resources Group (formerly ENRC) failed to respect rights of Kisankala & Lenge communities, including rights to access to water and to effective consultation, says UK Natl. Contact Point

RAID; UK Natl. Contact Point for OECD Guidelines

Guatemala: NGOs call for investigation into killing of environmental advocate, Walter Méndez Barrios

Freedom House

  • NGOs say it is imperative to provide security to local leaders, given “tensions in the region over communal rights to natural resources”
Cuba: 4 questions on business & human rights issues, including internet freedom, requirements for US investors

Sarah Labowitz, New York Univ. Stern Center for Business & Human Rights

Intl. organizations condemn Eco Oro Minerals’ plans to launch arbitration against Colombia over measures to protect water sources from mining activities 

AIDA, Committee in Defense of the Water & Páramo of Santurbán, CIEL, MiningWatch Canada, SOMO

Asia & Pacific
Malaysia: Baram mega-dams project scrapped after years of protests by indigenous groups

Asian Correspondent

Japan: Homeless at risk of forced eviction from park for Olympic construction, supporter arrested

No to the Eviction of Nojukusha for the Olympics and the March 2 Repression at the Proposed New National Stadium Site Rescue Committee

Residents of Kyaukphyu in Myanmar to sue Posco Daewoo in Korean court over insufficient compensation for land used for gas terminal

Korea Times

China: Concerns rise as local court holds public outdoor trial sentencing 8 workers who protested over unpaid wages

Intl. Business Times

Background paper for India’s Natl. Framework on Business & Human Rights 

Professor Surya Deva, for Ethical Trading Initiative

Europe & Central Asia
Italy: Trade unions raise concerns about "job voucher" payment scheme undermining workers' rights

Associated Press, Buenos Aires Herald

  • workers not paid with money, have no contract or rights to sick or holiday pay
EU support to Ukraine’s outdated nuclear reactors puts communities at risk, says local NGO

CEE Bankwatch Network

Intl. petition calls on World Bank to suspend agricultural loans to Uzbekistan until govt. changes its policy of forced labour in cotton sector

Intl. Labor Rights Forum

Middle East & North Africa
ILO gives Qatar a year to implement labour reforms following probe into migrant workers' conditions

ILO; Reuters; Doha News

Palestinian-Americans file lawsuit in US court over investments in Israeli settlements in Occupied Territories - accuse settlements of causing violence, destruction of homes

Haaretz; MWC News

Company responses
Register for 2016 Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights (Doha, 19-20 Apr)
  • announcement also available in Chinese
Australian Govt. announces natl. consultation on business & human rights

Global Compact Network Australia; Australian Lawyers for Human Rights

Ensuring access to justice for victims of human rights abuse involving business - UN rights office seeks feedback on draft recommendations to States (deadline 1 Apr)

Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Forthcoming events:
  • 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)
  • consultation on corporate obligations under a binding treaty (31 Mar, Geneva)
  • business coaching on human rights due diligence (19-20 Apr, Munich; register by 31 Mar)
  • "EU Roadmap to Business & Human Rights Conference" (11 May, Amsterdam; register by 31 Mar)
  • forum on forced labour in global supply chains (5 Apr, Kuala Lumpar)
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

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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