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Weekly Update - 24 August 2016

Lead Story
Côte d'Ivoire: 10 years after toxic waste was dumped from the "Probo Koala", victims continue to live in fear & uncertainty

Amnesty Intl. UK; Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); Sputnik News 

  • August 2006: 500 tonnes of toxic waste discharged in Abidjan from ship chartered by Trafigura; official estimates said 15 people died & over 108,000 sought medical treatment
  • August 2016: Victims & other residents "remain in the dark" about contents of waste, ongoing health impacts, according to UN, Amnesty

(photo credit: Gene Daniels)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
New Community Action Platform available in English & French
  • provides tools & resources for business-affected communities & organizations working with them, with peer-learning, guidance, case studies, directory of practitioners
  • blog by Joseph Kibugu (Eastern Africa Researcher) highlights importance of community documentation as crucial first step in protecting & realising their rights
Event: "Syrian refugees in supply chains: Exploitation or opportunity?" (26 Sep, New York - please RSVP)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is recruiting for interns (closing date: 29 Aug)
IMF & World Bank launch platform to collaborate with developing countries on corporate tax avoidance

Christian Aid

Registration open for 2016 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (14-16 Nov, Geneva)

46% of companies in survey will engage in UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Ethical Corp.

  • report features information from 2045 respondents
NGOs call for greater openness & transparency at BRICS New Development Bank first annual meeting on 20-21 Jul

Coalition for Human Rights in Development

  • bank approved investments in members countries without clarity on controls to address social & environmental impacts
Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to China fails to offer clear solution to stalled Myitsone dam project, suspended over local environmental impacts

So. China Morning Post

Uganda: Govt. to close for-profit Bridge Intl. schools over education quality & sanitation concerns

Global Initiative for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights

Zimbabwe: Workers allege ill-treatment at Chinese-owned mine near Doneni, including unpaid salaries, lack of protective gear, verbal & physical abuse

The Standard (Zimbabwe)

So. Africa: Report by Médecins Sans Frontières reveals "shocking" levels of sexual violence against women in Marikana mining area


  • says mining region attracts migrant women who become dependent on mine workers, fuelling violence
Mexico: Key issues & recommendations ahead of visit by UN Working Group on business and human rights 

Humberto Cantú Rivera; Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA)

  • official country visit to take place 29 Aug - 7 Sep
Honduras: Activist priest Father Melo urges Canadian Prime Minister to ensure mining companies comply with human rights; fears assassination

The Star

Brazil: Further to 17 Aug Update, responses from Dow, Panasonic regarding freedom of expression concerns during Rio Olympics
Asia & Pacific
So. Korea: Samsung denies withholding crucial information on toxins exposure, allegedly pays to silence sick workers; includes company statement

All India Roundup; Associated Press

Nepal: NGO demands respect for rights of communities affected by World Bank-funded Khimti-Dhalkebar Transmission Line project

Intl. Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net)

  • allegations include appropriation of lands without adequate compensation or resettlement, environmental & health impacts
India: New Maternity Benefits Act criticised for disregarding women in the informal sector


Australia: Govt. urged to develop Natl. Action Plan on business & human rights

Amy Sinclair, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, on Guardian (UK)

Philippines: Supreme Court strikes down Davao City ban on aerial spraying of pesticides in banana plantations


  • includes profile of lawsuit by banana companies challenging ban
Europe & Central Asia
Azerbaijan: NGO alleges SOCAR discriminates against employees by not allowing them to apply for positions after their contracts end

Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization (OWRPO)

  • we invited SOCAR to respond - it did not
UK: Law firm plans to impose contractual conditions on suppliers to combat modern slavery

Legal Futures

UK: Research shows women earn 18% less than men on average, gap widens after women have children

Guardian (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Monthly Arabic Update launching 31 Aug - update subscription preferences here
  • news from Arabic-speaking countries & Arabic resources on business & human rights
Company responses Non-responses
Forthcoming events:
  • Modern Slavery Act, risk management & due diligence solutions (31 Aug, London)
  • identifying & responding to child labour in supply chains (6 Sep, London)
  • conference: prevention of trafficking for labour exploitation (7-8 Sep, Berlin)
  • access to remedy for corporate human rights abuses (8 Sep, Brussels)
  • workshop for businesses on Modern Slavery Act (12 Sep, London)
  • Intl. Maritime Human Rights Conference (14 Sep, London)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Internships at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (deadline 29 Aug)

Other current vacancies:
  • CORE Coalition (Advocacy & Communications Manager)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (Membership Services Manager)
  • Free the Slaves (2 posts: Senegal Country Director; Senegal Program Manager)
  • OECD (Consultant, Natl. Contact Points peer reviews)
  • UNICEF UK (Children's Rights & Sports Specialist)
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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