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Weekly Update - 24 Jun 2015

Lead Story
Commentaries & recommendations in advance of first meeting of intergovernmental working group on proposed binding treaty, 6-10 July

(Photo credit: Maina Kiai)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa
From us
Pope calls for action to tackle climate change, linking it to companies, poverty, inequality & social injustice Human Rights Indicators for Business released for consultation

Danish Institute for Human Rights

  • open source database of 1,000 indicators
  • case studies from Barrick Gold, BHP Billiton Petroleum, Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone, twentyfifty
US Court dismisses lawsuit against CACI over allegations of torture of Abu Ghraib prisoners in Iraq

Just Security (USA)

ABN AMRO first financial institution to commit to using UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework

Global Business Initiative calls on govts. to demonstrate leadership on business & human rights through Natl. Action Plans
Nigeria: NGOs allege human rights abuses by Wilmar International, including lack of adequate compensation & damage to water supply

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria; Science Daily

  • we invited Wilmar Intl. to respond - response provided
  • letter by community committee also provided
So. Africa: NGOs call on Engie to divest from coal-fired power station due to concerns about negative health, environmental & climate change impacts

Centre for Environmental Rights; Earthlife Africa;  Science Daily

  • we invited Engie to respond - it did not
Kenya: Local authority to seek compensation from UK for colonial-era displacement for commercial agriculture

Standard Digital (Kenya)

Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable releases "shadow" US baseline assessment on access to remedy

Brazil: Civil society acuses Complexo Industrial Portuário de Suape of violence, forced evictions, water contamination & threats

Fórum Suape, CPT, Centro das Mulheres do Cabo and Action Aid

  • we invited the company to respond - response provided (only in Portuguese)
Chile: Local communities criticise the presence of “social workers” hired by Barrick Gold despite court ruling suspending any interventions related to Pascua Lama mine

Asamblea por el Agua del Guasco Alto

  • we invited Barrick Gold to respond - response provided
Asia & Pacific
International Rivers benchmarks 7 largest Chinese dam-builders on their social & environmental impacts

Indonesia to develop a National Action Plan on business & human rights

National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) & Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM)

Myanmar: Shan State villagers protest against company tasked with assessing social & environmental impacts of Mongton dam, claiming inadequate consultations

Irrawaddy (Myanmar); Voice of America

  • we invited Snowy Mountains Engineering Corp. (SMEC) to respond - response provided
Further to our previous Update: Gräf Granit responds to report on working conditions in Indian granite quarries 
  • we invited Gräf Granit to respond - response provided (only available in German)
Pakistan: Human Rights and Business Country Guide launched

Danish Institute for Human Rights; Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research

Europe & Central Asia
NGO guidance on how apparel brands can act collectively to raise factory wages while complying with EU competition law

Fair Wear Foundation

  • includes legal opinion from Arnold & Porter
Bulgaria: Lukoil Neftohim to be fined for environmental damage & health hazards caused by fuel spill

Novinite (Bulgaria)

UK: Football club Norwich City to become accredited living wage employer

Living Wage Foundation

Middle East & North Africa
Qatar Airways urged to scrap policy allowing it to sack pregnant cabin crew

Guardian (UK)

Intl. Labour Organization finds over a quarter million child labourers working in Turkey

Today's Zaman (Turkey)

From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
What legacy have mega sporting events and construction works brought to human rights in Brazil?

Julia Neiva, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, in El Pais

“What human rights?” Why some companies speak out while others don’t

Mauricio Lazala & Joseph Bardwell, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, on Open Global Rights

  • with examples from adidas, BP, Brilliant Earth, Coca-Cola, Columbia, FIFA, Formula One Group, Gap, Goldman Sachs, Google, H&M, Inditex, Leber Jeweler, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Puma, Tiffany, and Visa Group
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre contribution to UN intergovt. working group on proposed binding treaty

Advancing from "CSR" to "Business & Human Rights": new challenges faced by Chinese companies (only available in Chinese)

Cheng Qian, Wuhan University & Lowell Chow, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, in China Development Brief

Business and the protection of human rights defenders (London, 14 July)

International Service for Human Rights; Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Company responses Non-responses
BankTrack calls for cases to examine in forthcoming report on banking & human rights (deadline: 26 Jun)

Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable & SOMO launch workshop series on effective judicial & non-judicial remedies
Business and the protection of human rights defenders (London, 14 July)

International Service for Human Rights; Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Forthcoming events:
  • seminar on community consultations & mega-projects (London, 24 Jun)
  • conference: "Business and International Labor Rights" (Hague, 25 Jun)
  • workshop on a treaty on business & human rights (Madrid, 26 Jun)
  • event on protecting land rights in Colombia (London, 26 Jun)
  • UN General Assembly Climate Change event (New York, 29 Jun)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
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