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Weekly Update - 15 October 2014

Lead Story
NGOs, 70 Catholic bishops call on EU to strengthen proposed conflict minerals regulation

CIDSE; Global Witness; Amnesty Intl.; Walk Free

Photo by Sasha Lezhnev, ENOUGH Project. Available under a NC-NA-ND 2.0 license.
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

Global Witness launches "The Great Rip-Off" - global map of anonymous company ownership and abuse

Foundations increasingly "divesting from fossil fuels" over climate change, "investing in the future"

Divest-Invest Philanthropy, in Stanford Innovation Review

Colombian farmers sue BP in UK over pipeline's impact on environment & livelihoods: trial begins this week

Leigh Day; Financial Times (UK)

Cathy Albisa of National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) responds to Ford Foundation's Forum "Where Markets Lead, Will Justice Follow?"

Commentary: "Tax avoidance: the missing link in business & human rights?"

Mauricio Lazala, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

So. African NGO report raises concerns regarding negative community impacts of coal mining

Bench Marks Foundation

  • we invited Anglo American and Nedbank to respond - responses provided
Uganda: Civil society leader criticises govt.'s plan to allocate land to investors in mineral-rich areas without consulting local communities

Bwesigye Don Binyina, Africa Centre for Energy and Mineral Policy

Alejandra Ancheita receives Martín Ennals Award for defending rights of migrants, workers & indigenous communities from abuses by companies in Mexico

Amnesty International; Martin Ennals Award

Chile: Supreme Court halts Goldcorp & New Gold project to ensure consultation with indigenous peoples


USA: Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina implements new child labour policy - Human Rights Watch welcomes move
Asia & Pacific
Indian child labour activist Kailash Satyarthi wins Nobel Peace Prize

Hindustan Times; Guardian; Press Trust of India

India: Health activists fear decreased access to medicines for the poor - as govt. reviews intellectual property laws

Reuters;; Economic Times; Firstpost; Equlibri

Myanmar: Human rights & environmental safeguards needed before Dawei economic zone development proceeds, say rights groups

Myanmar Times; International Commission of Jurists

Cambodia: Following worker protests, clothing firms agree to factor higher wages into their pricing to enable payment of fair living wages

Ethical Corporation; Guardian (UK)

  • companies include C&A, H&M, Inditex, Next, New Look, Primark & others
Thai groups highlight rise in violations of community rights in mining areas during martial law

NGO Coordinating Committee on Development; Community Resource Center; ENLAWTHAI Foundation, and others

Europe & Central Asia
UK admitted as EITI candidate country; joins over 40 other countries committed to improve transparency in oil, gas & mining

UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills; Publish What You Pay

UK Govt. announces businesses will “have to publicly state what action they have taken” to ensure absence of slavery in supply chains
  • also provided: commentaries & background on UK Modern Slavery bill
Tesco signs Cotton Pledge, committing to not source Uzbek cotton picked with forced labour

Responsible Sourcing Network

Middle East & North Africa
Special Tribunal for Lebanon rules legal persons including companies can be held criminally liable; refers to UN Guiding Principles

Egypt's Universal Periodic Review at the UN: Recommendations on "business and human rights", and "rights at work"

Center for Economic and Social Rights; Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights

Further to last week's Update: Ahold responds to Fairfood report calling on supermarkets to ensure payment of living wage at Moroccan tomato suppliers
Company responses
Equitable Origin calls for comments on EO100™ Standard, a “benchmark for responsible oil and gas development” (open until 5 Dec)
Forthcoming events:
  • forum on current negotiation of "Trade in Services Agreement" (Geneva, 17 Oct)
  • seminar on Kyrgyzstan's investment policy regarding gold mining (London, 17 Oct)
  • integration of human rights & business functions (Brussels, register by 17 Oct)
  • discussion on binding instrument for business & human rights (Oxford, 24 Oct)
  • "From Rana Plaza to the High Street: Can Sustainable Fashion deliver?" (London, 27 Oct)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Sam Whannel:
Reminder: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is looking for a research intern to join our London office [deadline: 20 October]

Current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Sam Whannel:
Colombia: Campesinos demandan a BP en el Reino Unido por supuestos daños a sus tierras causados por el oleoducto Ocensa en los años 90

RT Actualidad

Alejandra Ancheita recibe el Premio Martín Ennals por su trabajo como defensora de derechos de migrantes, trabajadores e indígenas frente a abusos de empresas en México

Martin Ennals Award; Proceso

Chile: Justicia ordena al proyecto El Morro de Goldcorp hacer consulta previa a indígenas; no podrá reanudar operaciones por el momento


España: Repsol y Cruz Roja firman convenio para ayudar a colectivos vulnerables

Europa Press

Argentina: Indígenas bloquean acceso a yacimiento petrolífero Loma Campana de YPF por supuestos daños sociales y ambientales


Nicaragua: Comunidades protestan contra operaciones de minería de B2Gold en su territorio por posible contaminación

Nicaragua Hoy

Burkina Faso : Les paysans se plaignent du boom minier qui réduit considérablement leurs surfaces cultivables ; SEMAFO commente la situation

Sidwaya (Burkina Faso)

Mexique : Des communautés s’alarment des effets sanitaires et environnementaux des éoliennes dans leur village ; comprend une déclaration d’EDF

Nouvel Observateur (France)

France : Davantage d’entreprises prennent des mesures contre la discrimination liée à l’obésité - avec un exemple de PSA Peugeot Citroën

Novethic (France)

France : Une étude du MEDEF démontre que les salariés perçoivent toujours des discriminations au travail ; les sondés notent l’avance des grandes entreprises sur la question

Saphir News (France); TNS Sofres - MEDEF

France : Il y aurait entre 5 000 et 10 000 cancers professionnels par an, selon une étude récente

Journal de l'Environnement (France)

We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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