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Weekly Update - 8 April 2015

Lead Story 
Barrick Gold compensates group of tribal women & girls over alleged rapes & violence by police & security guards at the company’s mine in Papua New Guinea

Guardian (UK); Sydney Morning Herald; EarthRights Intl.

(photo credit: EarthRights Intl.)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

Report ranks energy firms on use of polluting "sub-critical" coal plants - Chinese, US firms dominate list

Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University; Guardian (UK)

  • we contacted the top 20 asking how they are mitigating climate & human rights impacts from these plants, and if they have plans for phase-out
  • responses so far from: AGL, American Electric Power, Eskom, RWE
  • we will indicate if the remaining companies respond in a future Update
"How Not to Respond to Human Rights Leadership: A Primer for Business" - Sweden, Saudi Arabia & beyond

Salil Tripathi of the Institute for Human Rights and Business

New Fairtrade standard sets higher requirements for traders on labour rights & environment

Fairtrade Intl.

Guardian Media Group commits to divest from fossil fuels & signs on to UN Principles for Responsible Investment

NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights launches project on recruitment in South Asia for construction workers in Gulf
Ethiopia: Trovicor, Gamma & Elaman accused of facilitating mass surveillance of journalists, activists & citizens

Privacy Intl.

  • we invited the companies to respond - response by Trovicor provided
  • Gamma & Elaman did not respond
So. Africa: New "Human rights and business country guide"

Danish Institute for Human Rights & South African Human Rights Commission

"Security and Human Rights in Kenya's Extractives Sector" - briefing paper

Institute for Human Rights and Business

USA: Indiana amends law that would have allowed LGBT discrimination on "religious" grounds after many companies oppose the law

Human Rights Campaign; DiversityInc; ABC News; Washington Post; Bloomberg

  • Apple, Eli Lilly, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Replacements Ltd, Salesforce, Starwood Hotels, Symantec, Wells Fargo & others opposed the law
El Salvador: NGOs & community groups campaign to get access to water enshrined in law; would safeguard rights over mining company demands

Guardian (UK)

Colombia: Indigenous peoples protest over alleged pressure by Anglo American to consent to mining project

Colombia Informa

  • allegations only available in Spanish
  • we invited Anglo American to respond - response provided
Asia & Pacific
India: Human rights abuses & violations highlighted in illegal sand mining industry

NDTV (India); Times of India; Wired; (India)

Myanmar: Workers protest against PTT Exploration & Production over wages, discrimination

Mizzima News (Myanmar)

  • we invited PTT Exploration & Production to respond - response provided
Laos: NGOs urge development banks to review support for Mekong Dams, 10 years after Nam Theun 2

CEE Bankwatch, Both ENDS, Focus on the Global South, Intl. Rivers, Mekong Watch, NGO Forum on the ADB

  • allege dam failed to bring intended development benefits, instead unleashed a range of negative social & environmental impacts 
Japan: New rules finally make maternity discrimination illegal following Supreme Court ruling

Japan Times

China: Massive explosion at Dragon Aromatics paraxylene (PX) plant reignites public concern over safety; authorities report several injuries


Europe & Central Asia
EU to ban owners from scrapping ships on South Asian beaches


Middle East & North Africa
Bahrain: New rules set to regulate migrant labour accommodation - aim to ensure safe living conditions

Trade Arabia

Jordan: Unified contract for migrant workers in garment sector agreed by union & employer associations 


  • will help stop discrimination between different migrant worker nationalities
Unions & artists allege migrant labourers building UAE cultural hub are "working in prison conditions"

Guardian (UK)

Company responses
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Group of Experts for Sustainable Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games is seeking comments on proposed sustainability themes

Caux Round Table Japan

  • available in English & Japanese
Forthcoming events:
  • investigating corporate human rights abuses in the US & abroad (New York, 9 Apr)
  • using access to justice to face socio-economic challenges (Doha, 14-16 Apr)
  • 5th International Uranium Film Festival 2015 (Quebec, 15-25 Apr)
  • webinar on labour exploitation in the construction industry (online, 15 Apr)
  • conference: slavery, law & intl. supply chains (New York, 15 Apr)
  • consultation: US National Action Plan (Washington DC, 16 Apr; register by 10 Apr)
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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