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Weekly Update - 14 September 2016

Lead Stories
Image: Getty images via AFP, Farina K. Godhuly

Bangladesh: Fire at packaging factory allegedly supplying Nestlé & British American Tobacco leaves over 30 dead, 50 injured

Reuters; Deutsche Welle; Daily Star; Indian Express

  • worst Bangladesh factory disaster since 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse killed over 1100
Nearly half of companies now have human rights policies - new research on business’ legal management of human rights
  • based on survey of 275 senior company lawyers
  • key findings include:
    • 84% of firms with USD10 billion+ annual revenue have human rights policies
    • legal is most likely business function assigned responsibility for human rights
    • mandatory reporting laws & commercial contracts are leading legal teams to place greater scrutiny on supply chains
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Latest Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin New on our Climate Justice hub: Renewable energy case studies & investor webinar
  • case studies of allegations & positive steps by wind & hydropower projects
  • webinar: role of investors in ensuring respect for human rights in renewable energy development
Event: "Syrian refugees in supply chains: Exploitation or opportunity?" (26 Sep, New York - please RSVP)
BankTrack's 2nd benchmarking report finds most banks still failing to deliver on UN Guiding Principles
  • we invited 6 key banks to respond: responses by Santander, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, Sumitomo Mitsui
  • Bank of America &  Goldman Sachs did not respond
  • 8 banks identified as front-runners, with Rabobank & Citigroup at top of list
130 investors sign letter calling on G20 to take steps to meet Paris climate agreement

Investor Platform for Climate Actions; Triple Pundit

Human Rights in Business release handbook & policy recommendations on suing companies in EU for abuses abroad Interview with Ecuador’s Permanent Representative to UN on need to take steps toward a binding instrument on business & human rights

TeleSur (Venezuela)

Guinea: NGOs say hundreds of households to be displaced by AngloGold Ashanti were intimidated, threatened

CECIDE and Même Droits pour Tous (Guinea)

  • we invited AngloGold Ashanti to respond; response provided
Kenya: Journalists allegedly beaten by Kakuzi guards during students' protests against land grabbing

The Star

  • we invited Kakuzi to respond; response provided
Nigeria: 10 Delta communities petition govt. over alleged oil spill from Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. facilities

Premium Times

Chile: Endesa withdraws plans to develop 6 dams due to community opposition

International Rivers; Reuters

USA: In house lawyers from Fortune 1000 companies pledge to consider diversity of external law firms when selecting providers

Bloomberg Law

Airbnb launches policy to address discrimination by hosts

Laura W. Murphy, President of Airbnb; Wired

Asia & Pacific
China: Demonstrators supporting of Wukan village chief who led protests over "illegal land grabs" face violent police crackdown

AFP; Associated Press

  • chief convicted of corruption but supporters say he was wrongfully charged
Thailand: Mars issues action plan to eliminate labour rights abuses from its supply chain - focus on fish suppliers following pressure from Greenpeace over tuna sourcing 

Undercurrent News

China: GoodElectronics report on health of workers damaged by chemical poisoning in electronics industry

Labour Action China (LAC), Labour Education and Service Network (LESN), Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)

  • factories supply to companies including: Apple, Asus, Canon, Foxconn, Huawei, Philips, Samsung, Sony
  • 11 of 23 client companies named responded to a draft version of the report
Landmark compensation arrangement reached with KiK, only known buyer from Ali Enterprises, on 4th anniversary of deadly Pakistan factory fire

Clean Clothes Campaign

Europe & Central Asia
Norway & Sweden: Statkraft reaches agreement with Saami villagers following complaint to OECD Natl. Contact Points over wind farm's impacts on livelihoods & land rights

Swedish & Norwegian OECD Natl. Contact Points

National Parliaments call on European Commission to support a legislative proposal for corporate social responsibility & human rights due diligence

European Affairs Committee inter-parliamentary meeting

Ireland: Natl. Action Plan should include commitment to support efforts to prevent global tax avoidance, says Irish Centre for Human Rights

Business and Human Rights in Ireland

Middle East & North Africa
Streit Security reportedly sold 30 armoured vehicles to Sudan despite Canadian ban on export of military & paramilitary equipment to war-torn country

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Egypt: Authorities admit police investigated researcher Giulio Regeni over trade union activities before he was found tortured & murdered

Guardian (UK)

Company responses Non-responses
Call for contributions to 2nd session of UN Intergovt. Working Group on proposed binding treaty on business & human rights (extended to 30 Sep)

Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expert Meeting on Climate Change & Human Rights: Registration open (closes Sept 23)

Call for comments: UNGP Reporting Framework’s assurance guidance (due 31 October)
"Syrian refugees in supply chains: Exploitation or opportunity?" (26 Sep, New York - please RSVP)

Other forthcoming events:
  • scholars conference on business & human rights (16-17 Sep, Seattle)
  • course: company-community mediation (30 Oct-4 Nov, apply by 16 Sep, Cape Town)
  • legal implications of OECD Guidelines (17 Sep, Washington DC)
  • "Can fast fashion ever be ethical?" (20 Sep, London)
  • managing bribery & corruption in supply chains (20 Sep, online)
  • workshop for businesses on UK Modern Slavery Act (21 Sep, Manchester)
  • 2016 Engaging Business Forum (22-23 Sep, Atlanta)
  • legal training programme, incl. business & human rights (23 Sep, Edinburgh)
  • business tackling deforestation, focus on Asia (27-28 Sep, Singapore)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • Center for Constitutional Rights (Advocacy Program Manager)
  • Fair Labor Association (4 posts: Finance & Administration Associate; Monitoring & Evaluation Assistant; Participating Supplier Program Manager; Research & Technical Advisor)
  • Global Witness (Campaign Leader, Myanmar Extractive Industries)
  • Human Rights Watch (Director, Environment & Human Rights Program)
  • Physicians for Human Rights (Institutional Development Manager)
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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