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Weekly Update - 13 May 2015

Lead Story
Case studies from Africa, Asia & Latin America on indigenous peoples' experiences with access to remedy for business impacts

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, ALMÁCIGA, Intl. Work Group for Indigenous Affairs 

  • foreword by Pavel Sulyandziga, member of UN Working Group on business & human rights
  • case studies based on experiences of indigenous peoples from Cambodia, Colombia, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Peru, Tanzania
  • we invited companies linked to allegations to respond; responses from Essar, SABMiller, Tanzania Conservation/Thomson Safaris provided
  • Cerrejón indicated it will respond; we will indicate whether HAGL, Taipan Resources & Tullow Oil respond

(credit: AIPP Printing Press)
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa

UN Working Group report: Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights need to be further embedded throughout UN
  • including in UN work interfacing with investment, trade, financial institutions; sustainable development "post 2015" framework; private sector partnerships
Intl. Trade Union Confederation calls for strong climate action & just transition for workers to a low carbon economy

UNICEF publishes reports on children's rights in the extractive industry

New on our platform on a proposed Binding Treaty: Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative issues draft standards, welcomes feedback from civil society & other stakeholders
  • Global Witness raises concerns about rigour of standards
Civil society discussion on advancing tax justice through human rights, including the role of corporate tax avoidance

Centre for Social & Economic Rights

Nigeria: Shell & local communities sign clean-up agreement for 2008 oil spill in Niger Delta

domain-b (India); Quartz

Briefing urges G8's New Alliance for Food Security & Nutrition to implement "rigorous environmental & social impact assessments"

Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies; Future Agricultures Consortium

  • G8 initiative associated with negative impacts on locals, including alleged land grabs
Kenya: New intl. "Lawyers for Resource Justice" initiative provides legal support for community in resource-rich Kerio Valley to negotiate with corporations exploring for oil

Open Society Foundations

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers reported abuses of indigenous people's rights by mining & hydroelectric projects in Guatemala‏

Mexico: Police injure dozens of protesting farm workers demanding better working conditions in San Quintin

RT News

USA: California state legislature to vote on bill extending statute of limitations for victims of human rights abuse, including human trafficking

Pasadena Now (USA)

Asia & Pacific
Nepal: Companies respond to earthquake, aid rescue mission & rehabilitation efforts
  • refers to steps by AT&T, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Ericsson, Henry Schein, Standard Chartered, T-Mobile & many others via US Chamber of Commerce corporate aid tracker
Cambodia: Thai firm Mitr Phol pulls out of sugar plantations after years of allegations of land rights & environmental abuses; NGOs call for compensation for victims

Bangkok Post

Indonesia: Govt. opens investigation into Pusaka Benjina; fishing company denies slavery allegations, admits mistreatment of workers

Indonesia Investments; Jakarta Post; AntaraNews

  • investigation uncovers 1,400 crew members forced to work long hours without pay
Sri Lanka: Society for Threatened Peoples claims Holcim sponsored military propaganda & vocational training in rehabilitation camps linked to torture China: Plaintiffs in Meilun Chemical Materials lead poisoning lawsuit withdraw, allegedly under pressure from local govt.

Reuters; Global Times (China)

  • plant was shut down in 2014 following alleged lead poisoning in 300 children
Europe & Central Asia
EU parliamentary motion calls for mandatory human rights due diligence for companies

Arnaud Poitevin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Ireland: Dunnes Stores accused of victimising & in some cases sacking workers for taking part in strike over working conditions

An Phoblacht (Ireland); RTE; Mandate Trade Union

  • we invited Dunnes Stores to respond; it did not do so
Germany: Foreign Office presents baseline assessment for Natl. Action Plan on business & human rights

German Institute for Human Rights

Middle East & North Africa
Court documents show Israeli cell phone companies made payments to settlers in illegal settlement in occupied Palestinian territories so they could construct antennae

+972 Magazine (Israel)

  • we invited Orange and Cellcom to respond - they did not do so; we are in the process of inviting Pelephone to respond
Kuwait: Corruption in construction industry reportedly puts workers' health & lives at risk

Migrant Rights

Company responses Non-responses
Event: "Climate Change & Intl. Human Rights Law: The Challenges for Business" (London, 27 May; RSVP by 22 May)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; Notre Dame Univ. Law School

  • series of "Climate Dialogues" to take place in London (27 May), Geneva (17 June), New York (Autumn 2015)
Call for contributions to “UN Observatory” journal on protection of human rights in digital age (deadline: 31 May)

Association française pour les Nations Unies

Consultation on OECD Due Diligence Guidelines for meaningful stakeholder engagement in extractive sector (deadline: 5 Jun)
Forthcoming events:
  • stakeholder forum on US National Action Plan (Washington DC, 13 May)
  • e-learning course on corporate social responsibility (online, 20 May - 30 June)
  • conference on aligning corporate sustainability with Sustainable Development Goals (Bangkok, 20 May)
  • Business & Climate Summit 2015 (Paris, 20-21 May)
  • course on business & human rights development (Copenhagen, 26-27 May)
  • "Climate Change & Intl. Human Rights Law: The Challenges for Business" (London, 27 May)
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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