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Weekly Update - 9 March 2016

Lead Story
Honduras: Berta Cáceres, human rights defender & indigenous leader who opposed Agua Zarca dam, killed

Otros Mundos & Rights Action; Guardian; COPINH;; Global Witness; statement by 50+ NGOs

“I cannot freely walk on my territory or swim in the sacred river and I am separated from my children because of the threats. I cannot live in peace, I am always thinking about being killed or kidnapped. But I refuse to go into exile. I am a human rights fighter and I will not give up this fight.” 
  • NGOs call for protection of Gustavo Castro, witness to the killing of Berta Cáceres, and other community members in danger
  • we reached out to companies & funders involved in Agua Zarca project for statements on the killing & protection of other advocates; statements by Copreca, Finnfund, FMO & Voith provided
(Photo credit: Goldman Environmental Prize)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
UK Modern Slavery Act: Analysis of first 75 company statements reveals majority do not yet comply with Act’s requirements, lack adequate information

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and CORE Coalition

Commentary: 3 things garment brands should do to protect women in their supply chains

Harpreet Kaur, South Asia Regional Researcher

Guest blog: Innovative strategies for supporting communities’ demands for accountability

Marco Simons, Zamira Djabarova & Tamara Morgenthau, EarthRights Intl.

Intl. Women's Day 2016: Advances by companies & continuing challenges
  • Australian companies employing more women make more money, study finds
  • Côte d’Ivoire: Women cocoa farmers struggle with low pay, lack of land & training; refers to some advances by Mars, Mondelez & Nestlé
  • Indonesia: Palm oil sector needs to empower women to address inequalities in land ownership, pay levels & health risks
2016 Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights: Draft programme & list of confirmed speakers announced (19-20 Apr, Doha)

Margaret Jungk resigns from UN Working Group on business & human rights, emphasises need for stronger measurement of progress

Shell faces two new legal actions in UK over oil pollution in Nigeria

Leigh Day; New York Times; Wall Street Journal

Guide to implementing the UN Guiding Principles in investment policymaking

LSE Investment & Human Rights Project & LAB (Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy)

Google partners with UNICEF to map zika virus outbreak


So. Africa: Anglo American So. Africa & AngloGold Ashanti settle former gold miners’ silicosis lawsuit

Leigh Day; Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA); Miningmx; Bloomberg Business; BD Live

Ethiopia: Financial Times investigation documents impacts of Saudi Star agribusiness on indigenous group, including alleged displacement

Zimbabwe: Govt. closes diamond mining firms, says they looted diamonds worth billions of dollars - NGOs urge respect for human rights in closure

VOA News; African Independent; Centre for Research and Development; Herald

Peru: Recent PetroPeru oil spills believed to be among worst experienced in region, child labour allegedly used in clean-up efforts

Suriname: Inter-American Court of Human Rights says state failed to comply with UN Guiding Principles in case on impacts of mining on indigenous peoples

Leigh Day

Colombia: Report calls for private sector to take leadership role in peace-building

Fundación Ideas para la Paz

Asia & Pacific
China: UN independent expert releases country visit report on foreign lending’s effects on human rights

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt on human rights

  • findings include lack of comprehensive framework to ensure respect for human rights in lending & outbound investment, need to improve consultations with affected communities, and a need for effective remedy
Japan: Govt. survey finds one third of women suffer sexual harassment in the workplace

Japan Times

Australia: Rights groups warn Ferrovial about risks of acquiring Broadspectrum due to potential liability for detention camp abuses

Human Rights Law Centre

Locals call on Myanmar, Thai & Japanese Govts. to address long-standing land rights & livelihood concerns in Dawei Special Economic Zone before moving forward


Europe & Central Asia
Spain: Supreme Court rules corps. can be held criminally liable

Global Compliance News

Sweden: Report evaluates how 5 intl. development institutions incorporate the UN Guiding Principles into their policies & practices

Stockholm Environment Institute

NGOs make submission to UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women over impacts of Switzerland’s tax policy on women

Center for Economic and Social Rights, Global Justice Clinic NYU School of Law, Berne Declaration & Tax Justice Network

Middle East & North Africa
Privacy Intl. report exposes deals between Egyptian intelligence & European surveillance companies
  • includes responses from Hacking Team, Nokia & Siemens
Tunisia: Women workers will run a textile factory, following its bankruptcy

Al Hayat

Company responses Non-responses
OHCHR seeking comments on their consultation draft for Accountability & Remedy Project (deadline: 1 Apr)

UNICEF consultations on tools for ICT companies & mobile operators on children's rights (deadline: 18 Mar)
Forthcoming events:
  • Bangladesh, workers rights & the future of the garment industry (10 Mar, London)
  • share & learn lunch: how human rights impact business (14 Mar, Lausanne)
  • legal responses & remedies to trans-boundary pollution (15 Mar, Singapore)
  • open forum on human rights & global value chains (16 Mar, Brussels)
  • UN Guiding Principles & investment treaty reform (16 Mar, Geneva)
  • speaker series: Arvind Ganesan, Human Rights Watch (21 Mar, Washington DC)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre vacancies Other current vacancies: Further details and other recently posted jobs available here.  Please send job announcements to Alex Janczenia:  
We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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