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Weekly Update - 29 March 2017

Lead Story
Australia: Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act gains momentum

(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
“Chinese Responsible Investment Overseas Newsletter” launches, available in English and Chinese

Civil rights are under attack. Here’s why the business world should care

Mauricio Lazala, Deputy Director, on World Economic Forum Global Agenda

Blog: Outreach to footwear companies and luxury brands on forced labour risks in leather sourcing


Onwards! Farewell remarks by Annabel Short
  • short reflections from our outgoing NYC-based Deputy Director
7 telecommunications companies join Global Network Initiative expanding global protection of freedom of expression & privacy rights

Global Network Initiative

OECD issues guidance for institutional investors on implementing human rights due diligence

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)


Lawsuits against DynCorp over damage to land & health allegedly caused by chemical spraying in Colombia to continue to jury trial in USA

Intl. Rights Advocates

"Access to remedy: the next frontier?"

Global Business Initiative on Human Rights

  • briefing examines recent developments in access to remedy for business-related human rights impacts
Europe’s largest banks register EUR 25 billion profit in tax havens - Oxfam Intl. says this deprives poorer countries of income
African Union drafts policy framework on business & human rights

Premium Times (Nigeria)

"Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas" - new film documents how land acquisition in Ethiopia deprives small farmers of livelihoods, contributes to "vicious spiral of violence"


Kenya Pipeline admits liability for oil spill that lead to chronic disease, loss of livestock & crop failure for farmers

Standard Digital

Bolivia & Brazil: ADM, Bunge, Burger King and Cargill are increasing deforestation & impacts on climate change, says new NGO report 

Mighty Earth; Guardian (UK); New York Times

  • we invited the companies to respond: Bunge, Cargill, ADM responses provided; we will indicate in a forthcoming Update whether Burger King responds
USA: "Inside Alabama’s auto jobs boom: Cheap wages, little training, crushed limbs"


Paraguay: Govt. to meet monthly with leaders of previously uncontacted Ayoreo tribe to discuss return of lands illegally occupied, deforested by cattle firms

Survival Intl.

US Congress votes to abolish rules to stop internet service providers from selling consumers' personal data without their knowledge or consent

New York Times; Electronic Frontier Foundation; Huffington Post (USA); Washington Post; ACLU 

  • Trump administration says it will ratify the vote
  • civil rights advocates decry the move
Asia & Pacific
Papua New Guinea: Barrick Gold accused of supporting police raid on nearby village - NGOs & villagers say 150 houses burned, 8 people raped

Radio New Zealand; teleSUR; MiningWatch; Akali Tange Association

  • Barrick Gold, in statement & response to local NGO, says that only "18 structures were removed", it was not aware of or involved in police action
Myanmar: At least 10 injured in Letpadaung as police fire rubber bullets on protesters who have been demanding compensation from Wanbao Mining

Radio Free Asia

Bangladesh: Unsafe work conditions & child labour reported in tanneries supplying leather to Western brands

Associated Press

  • articles & original report by NGO Transparentem include comments by 14 companies
India: Petition created by rape victim pushes Facebook, Google, Microsoft into talks with govt. on online sex abuse


Malaysia: Maybank offers female staff up to one year maternity leave - a first for the country

New Straits Times

Europe & Central Asia
France: Constitutional Council approves most of new law on corporate duty of vigilance

European Coalition for Corporate Justice

Italy: Migrant farm workers face harsher conditions amid tighter immigration law enforcement - proposed reforms don’t sufficiently protect workers’ rights, say trade unionists

Susi Meret & Sergio Goffredo, Aalborg Univ., in openDemocracy 

UK: Zero hours contracts & gig economy drive rise in bullying as workers lack basic rights protections

Guardian (UK)

Middle East & North Africa
Israel & Palestine: Rights group asks G4S for clarity on whether it continues providing services to Israeli state agencies "that have adverse human rights impacts"

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

  • we invited G4S to respond; response provided
Commentary: "I visited a Syrian refugee camp, and here’s what business leaders should know"

John Fallon, CEO of Pearson, in Fortune 

Company responses Non-responses
Call for proposals: Human rights impacts baseline study to help oil-affected communities in Niger Delta track progress of Nigerian Govt. clean-up programme

Centre for Environment & Human Rights

Forthcoming events:
  • conference on global digital rights (29-31 Mar, Brussels)
  • seminar: impact of Sustainable Development Goals on workers (30 Mar, London)
  • webinar: role of entrepreneurship in combatting human trafficking (30 Mar, online)
  • seminar reflecting on one year of the Modern Slavery Act (30 Mar, London)
  • launch of key report on extractive industries (31 Mar, Aberdeen)
  • course on corporate sustainability accelerators (3-5 Apr, New Haven)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Anna Liberadzki:  
Current vacancies:
  • Bangladesh Accord Foundation (2 posts: Communication Assistant; Research Assistant)
  • Ethical Trading Initiative (2 posts: Programme Consultant; Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser)
  • Fair Food Standards Council (2 posts: Director of Complaint Resolution; Financial Analyst)
  • Intl. Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association (Executive Director)
  • Wellspring Advisors (Program Officer, Intl. Human Rights Program)
Further details and other recently posted jobs available hereTo 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.

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