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Weekly Update - 16 July 2014

Lead Story
“Human rights website spotlights conduct of over 5600 companies” Recent statements by UN Working Group on business & human rights:
  • Working Group details applicability of UN Guiding Principles in Israeli settlements within Occupied Territories
  • Working Group's statement on outcomes of 26th session of UN Human Rights Council
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa


ActionAid report says intl. aid & public policies facilitate corporate land grabs, leaving farmers impoverished & vulnerable

we invited firms criticised in the report to respond to allegations:
  • Addax Bioenergy responded; SABMiller and Senhuile referred us to previous responses (Senhuile response only available in French)
  • Diageo, Mitr Phol, LYP Group, Standard Bank did not respond
  • we will indicate next week whether Daewoo Logistics, Dominion Farms, Kenya Jatropha Energy (part of Nuove Iniziative Industrali) respond
How to improve effectiveness of non-judicial grievance mechanisms for business impacts on human rights - report from expert meeting
Access Facility

Results of company survey on awareness & use of tools to implement UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

econsense & Global Compact Network Germany

  • finds high level of awareness among respondents, but “scarce” practical experience
Latest additions on debate over a proposed binding global treaty on business & human rights
  • FIDH calls UN vote on proposed treaty a “ray of hope” despite concerns
  • Aaron Rhodes of Freedom Rights Project says proposed treaty holds out “false promise”
Latest news on National Action Plans on business & human rights:
  • new draft of Spain's National Action Plan (only in Spanish)
BNP Paribas fined by US Govt. for conducting business with Sudan under embargo due to regime’s human rights abuses

Financial Times (UK)

Report on privatisation of education by global NGO coalition “highlight[s]...specific negative consequences for women and girls”

US conflict minerals law brings improvements in Dem. Rep. of Congo, say campaigners, despite slow response by firms


  • some analysts say law’s impact is overstated
NGOs concerned EU-US free trade agreement prioritises chemical industry's interests over health & environment

Center for International Environmental Law & ClientEarth

Interview with Michael Samway, founder of Yahoo!'s business & human rights programme 

Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

  • encourages more ICT companies to build more "integrated and durable systems for anticipating and addressing human rights issues"
Côte d'Ivoire: Fair Labor Association report on women's role in Nestlé's supply chain & risks they face
  • makes recommendations to Nestlé & govt. to raise their status
  • Nestlé reports how it is addressing recommendations, updates action plan to support women's lives - with video on action plan
Ghana: Workshop urges companies to implement UN Guiding Principles

  • organised by Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, NGOs
Kenya: Extractive industry urged to take steps to respect & protect women's rights

Melba K. Wasunna, Thamani Trust, on Information Centre for the Extractives Sector (Kenya)

Mexico: Labour-rights groups denounce alleged age discrimination by Mexican & foreign companies

Arizona Republic (USA)

Lawsuit against HudBay in Canada re alleged gang rapes & other violence in Guatemala “has...raised the stakes for Canadian companies operating abroad” to respect human rights

MacLeans (Canada)

USA: California residents say transport by Valero of crude oil through towns would threaten safety - Valero responds

Sacramento Bee (USA)

USA: New Center for Civil & Human Rights connects civil rights to contemporary human rights movement
  • includes exhibit on ethical footprint of consumer products
USA: Article analyses benefits of employing people with mental illness both for company & employees

Grand Traverse Insider (USA)

Asia & Pacific
India: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre hosts civil society workshop in Odisha, in collaboration with Uktal University
  • focus on access to remedies; workshop included visits to mining sites & a power plant in the area
Myanmar: New reports under US Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements now available
  • new submission by Aberdeen Asset Management; 2nd reports by: Capital Group, Coca-Cola, Hercules Offshore, Western Union
  • EIRIS Conflict Risk Network says several reports fail to provide critical information
  • commentary: NGOs commend Coca-Cola's transparency
China: Children found working at Samsung supplier by NGO, journalists

New York Times; China Labor Watch

  • Samsung recently reported it found no child labour in supply chain; cuts ties to supplier
  • articles include statement by supplier Shinyang Electronics
Cambodia: Villagers reject Tate & Lyle Sugar’s latest offer to settle UK lawsuit
  • company resigns from Bonsucro claiming lawsuit keeps them from being active in initiative
  • we invited Tate & Lyle Sugar to respond - response provided
Cambodia: NGOs express disappointment over ANZ’s cutting of ties with Phnom Penh Sugar - say bank is responsible for providing adequate compensation for land confiscation victims

Oxfam Australia; Equitable Cambodia; Inclusive Development International; Cambodia Daily

  • we invited ANZ to respond - response provided
India: Study shows higher procurement prices for cotton increase wages & decrease child labour
  • commissioned by India Committee of Netherlands
Europe & Central Asia
Civil society briefing calls on EU to strengthen conflict minerals regulation

UK: Low-skilled workers "at risk of exploitation" due to lax labour checks, says Migration Advisory Committee report


UK: Parliament calls for written evidence on Modern Slavery Bill

House of Commons Public Bill Committee

Middle East & North Africa
UN Working Group details applicability of Guiding Principles in Israeli settlements within the Occupied Territories
Company responses Non-responses
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre staff will participate in the 2014 London Triathlon (2 Aug) to fundraise for our charity
Conference on Corporate Human Rights Abuses & Access to Justice, hosted by CORE Coalition and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, in association with British Institute of Intl. and Comparative Law (London, UK 17 Jul) 

Forthcoming events:
  • conference on women, migration & development (London, 17-18 Jul)
  • training on embedding human rights in business (London, 17 Jul)
  • conference on "degrowth for ecological sustainability & social equity" (Leipzig, 2 Sep)
  • corporations, global food system and human rights (Oslo, 11-12 Sep)
  • embedding human rights in business (London, 17 Sep)
  • Essex Transitional Justice Summer School (Essex, UK, 18 Sep)

Details of these and future events can be found here
Please send relevant event information to Sam Whannel:
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre recruiting a Communications & Corporate Accountability Officer (deadline: 28 Aug)

Other job postings Further details and other recently posted jobs available here
This is a free service; please send job announcements to Sam Whannel:
Nuestro nuevo sitio web, que visibiliza la conducta sobre los derechos humanos de más de 5600 empresas, ahora disponible completamente en español!

Noticias recientes sobre el debate acerca de un tratado vinculante sobre empresas y derechos humanos
  • Comentarios de ONGs FIDH, CIDSE y Social Watch; cobertura por la prensa
Bolivia: Comunidades denuncian contaminación del agua por Empresa Minera Corocoro

Educación Radiofónica de Bolivia

  • EMC se pronuncia al respecto
España: Nuevo borrador del Plan Nacional sobre empresa y derechos humanos

España: Fallo de la Audiencia Nacional considera que Coca-Cola "desactivó" el derecho de la huelga de sus trabajadores; incluye comentarios de la empresa

El Pais (España)

Perú: Análisis de impactos de proyecto Conga a 2 años del aniversario del conflicto

Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Sociedad

Ecuador: 200 familias afectadas por derrame petrolero de Petroamazonas

La Hora (Ecuador)

China: Samsung suspende vínculos con proveedor chino por sospechas de trabajo infantil


Le Centre de Ressources sur les Entreprises et les Droits de l’Homme lance son nouveau site
  • maintenant disponible : navigation complète en français et en 6 autres langues
Aperçu de quelques défis importants liés aux activités des entreprises militaires et de sécurité privées en Afrique et recommandations utiles

Aliou Diouf, Centre de Ressources sur les Entreprises et les Droits de l'Homme, dans Le Quotidien (Sénégal)

Rapport de l'atelier sur le Code de conduite pour les entreprises de sécurité privées organisé à Dakar en juin 2014

Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Lumière Synergie pour le Développement (LSD)

Sénégal : Les communautés locales dénoncent les impacts de l'exploitation agricole de Senhuile - l'entreprise rejette toutes les accusations


Rép. dém. du Congo : Des agriculteurs accusent Rubamines de spolier leurs terres - la compagnie répond

Le Potentiel (Rép. dém. du Congo)

Dernières contributions au débat sur un traité contraignant sur les entreprises et les droits de l’homme
  • commentaires par la FIDH et CIDSE, et couverture médiatique
La Banque mondiale et EDF (Electricité de France) s'allient pour contribuer au développement de l'Afrique grâce à un programme d’électrification rurale

Agence Ecofin (Suisse)

France : Les entreprises de plus de 50 salariés devront recourir au CV anonyme pour lutter contre la discrimination à l’embauche

L'Express (France)

Burkina Faso : Les populations locales demandent plus de transparence dans le secteur minier (Burkina Faso)

Mali : L'éboulement dans une mine d'or artisanale fait deux morts et plusieurs blessés


Business & Human Rights Resource Centre takes no position on the views presented by commentators, organisations and companies in the materials listed in this email or linked to in our website. As with any library, our purpose is to provide access to a wide selection of materials representing diverse viewpoints on matters of public interest. We do not exercise any editorial control over the materials and cannot guarantee their accuracy.

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