Working with everyone to advance human rights in business.
View this email in your browser

Weekly Update - 19 July 2017

Lead Story
Govts., businesses & investors are fuelling violence against land & environmental defenders

Global Witness; The Guardian (UK)

(photo credit: Global Witness, iStock)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launches in Australasia
  • Welcomes Amy Sinclair as first regional representative & researcher covering Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific 
Vacancy at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
US companies criticised for conflict between global commitments on sustainability & climate action, industry association memberships

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse & Elizabeth Warren; Public Citizen; National Resources Defence Council

New guidance for investors explores integration of social issues into investment decisions

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

  • With methods for investors, case studies of investor analysis of community relations, supply chain standards, health & safety, minimum wage, other social factors
Global agreement between IndustriALL & multinational brands to tackle living wage & collective bargaining issues in garment sector launches website

Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT)

  • Includes Memorandum of Understanding between IndustriALL & 17 global brands
Tanzania: NGO urges compensation for victims of violence at Acacia's North Mara mine - used against protesters, people who "encroach" on mine concession seeking gold

Rights & Accountability in Development

  • We invited Acacia to respond; response provided
Africa: Tobacco firms allegedly obstructing govt. efforts to protect millions from harmful effects of tobacco use; includes companies' comments

The Guardian (UK); Business Daily (Kenya)

  • Articles includes statements by British American Tobacco, Philip Morris Intl., Imperial Tobacco
Commentary: Philanthropy can provide crucial financial support when companies use law to silence environmentalists & other activists

Ford Foundation Southern Africa

Guatemala: Centre for Environmental, Social & Legal Action (CALAS) alleges smear & intimidation campaign for challenging Tahoe Resources in court

Amnesty Intl.

  • We invited Tahoe Resources to respond; response provided
Peru: UN experts call on govt. to halt contract negotiations with oil firms until indigenous communities are consulted & compensated for previous contamination

UN Special Rapporteurs on hazardous substances & wastes, & on rights of indigenous peoples

Guatemala: NGOs publish baseline assessment of natl. business & human rights law & policy  

Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) & la Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos, Guatemala (UDEFEGUA)

  • Results can be used to inform development of a future National Action Plan on human rights, support stakeholders in their advocacy
Labour violations & negative health impacts documented in workers on Guatemala's sugarcane plantations; recommendations for govts. & companies


Asia & Pacific
Cambodia: Hengfu Sugar’s land grab in Preah Vihear province has allegedly devastated the environment & livelihoods of local communities

Community Network in Action (CNA), Ponlok Khmer, GRAIN, Cambodian Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA) & Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)

  • We invited Hengfu Sugar to respond; it did not
World's largest tuna firm Thai Union announces 'groundbreaking' environmental, labour & supply chain commitments in response to long-term pressure from NGOs

Greenpeace; Thai Union Group

Thailand: European business association calls for out-of-court settlement of defamation lawsuit brought by Thai poultry Thammakaset against 14 migrant workers from Myanmar

Foreign Trade Association

Philippines: UNICEF advises businesses on how to integrate children’s rights in their operations

Manila Times

  • With examples by Adidas, Microsoft
Europe & Central Asia
Russia: Widespread violations of labour & migrant workers' rights on 2018 FIFA World Cup construction sites

Human Rights Watch; FIFA; Moscow Times; Josimar; Building & Wood Worker's Intl.

  • FIFA responded to HRW report documenting range of abuses involving companies, including non-payment of wages, work in dangerous cold, absence of work contracts
  • Seven Suns & Dalpiterstroy reportedly use North Korean workers as slave labour; we previously invited the companies to respond, they did not
Russia: Ethnographer Olga Murashko says Petropavlovsk’s response to statements re imprisonment of Evenk indigenous leader "ignores the facts" of community's resistance

Olga Murashko, Moscow State University

  • We invited the company to respond to Murashko’s rejoinder; response provided
UK: Victory for equal rights in judgement against Innospec entitling same-sex spouse to husband's pension

The Guardian (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Bahrain: Rights groups urge Formula 1 to exercise enhanced due diligence following human rights violations coinciding with 2017 Grand Prix

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, Article 19, Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy, European Centre for Democracy & Human Rights, Index on Censorship

  • NGOs documented govt. reprisals against journalists & peaceful protestors during April event
  • We invited Formula 1 to respond; response provided
Qatar: Closure of land borders limits availability of food & building materials, with negative impacts for migrant workers & companies

Human Rights Watch

Company responses Non-responses
UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery to visit Paraguay & investigate child and forced labour (17-24 Jul 2017)

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Forthcoming events:
  • Conference: Public-private partnership in the fight against human trafficking (20-21 Jul, Moscow)
  • Seminar: Environmental & land defenders (27 Jul, London)
  • Webinar: Stakeholder engagement in human rights impact assessments (28 Jul, online)
  • Workshop: Public values & public goods - How do they live in the intersection of finance & human rights? (6 Sep, Naples)
  • Conference: Global public goods, global commons & fundamental values - Responses of intl. law (7-9 Sep, Naples)
Details of these and future events can be found herePlease send relevant event information to Anna Liberadzki:  
Corporate Legal Accountability Programme Manager at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (deadline 1 Sep)

Other current vacancies:
  • Home Office UK (Labour Market and Private Sector Policy Lead for Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner)
  • Project on Organizing, Development, Education, & Research (Director of Finance & Operations)
  • International Alert (Corporate Engagement Adviser)
  • EIRIS Foundation (Campaign Organiser)
  • EIRIS Foundation (Marketing Promoter)
  • European Coalition for Corporate Justice (Policy Intern)
  • Physicians for Human Rights (Former Soviet Union Intern)
  • Physicians for Human Rights (Programme Assistant)
  • Accountability Counsel (Africa Consultant)
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:
Copyright © 2017 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences   French, German & Spanish updates