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Weekly Update - 30 November 2016

Lead Story
Intl. Women Human Rights Defenders Day (29 Nov): A wake-up call for business & govt. to consult & protect women activists
  • gender is a key factor to integrate into companies’ & governments’ consultations with and protection of defenders
  • we share the testimonies of women defenders featured in Guardian video & some key cases from 2016 that illustrate challenges faced by these defenders
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Guest blog: Binding treaty on business & human rights: What we can learn from NGO strategies in other treaty-drafting processes

Irene Pietropaoli, Consultant on business and human rights, based in Myanmar

New summary profiles of legal cases: We're hiring a Development Manager, Europe (based in London, deadline 5 Dec)
Non-judicial grievance mechanisms: 19 reports on possibilites & limits of transnational mechanisms

Corporate Accountability Research

  • with 10 in-depth case studies from Asia; 5 reports analysing specific intl. mechanisms; recommendations for Australia, UK Govts.; civil society guide
Investor groups update guidance for oil & gas companies to develop business strategies that address climate risks


Peruvian farmer's lawsuit against RWE over climate impacts - hearings begin in Germany

Deutsche Welle

Amid US President-elect Trump's opposition to intl. trade deals, "progressives need to push" for trade agenda respecting human rights, against his plan to deregulate companies & cut corporate taxes, says journalist

In These Times (USA)

European Parliament condemns violence against Guarani-Kaiowá in Brazil -
in resolution, says companies should be held accountable for environmental damage & human rights abuses, including via EU & member states' trade policies


So. Africa: In displacement for Anglo Platinum's Twickenham mine, communities did not give informed consent, company has not met its commitments - new NGO report

Bench Marks Foundation

  • we invited Anglo American to respond - response provided
Campaigners oppose oil drilling near Lake Malawi; say it could cause ecological disaster & compromise livelihoods 

Guardian (UK); Energy Desk

Kenya: Locals seek participation in deciding whether to renew leases for multinational agribusinesses

Standard Digital (Kenya)

USA: DNB, largest bank in Norway, sells stakes in companies involved in North Dakota Access Pipeline over indigenous rights concerns

The Local (Sweden)

USA: Jury orders Wal-Mart to pay USD 54 million over company's failure to pay minimum wage to California truck drivers

Associated Press; Los Angeles Times (USA)


Ecuador: Indigenous peoples & peasants defend water & land rights from impacts of foreign-owned mining projects

Asia & Pacific
Health & safety spotlight in Bangladesh: UN chastises Thailand over unsolved murders of land rights activists, including those campaigning against land expropriations by palm oil companies


China: Facebook has reportedly developed censorship tool to enter the country

Al Jazeera; New York Times

  • company says it has not yet made decisions on its approach into China
China: Video documentary shows domestic apparel manufacturers in eastern province exploit workers from poorer Yunnan province

Chuncheng Evening News; South China Morning Post

  • some workers say they are beaten if they "misbehave", others are children under 16
Japan: Recruiting organization ranks nationalities of foreign trainees for their "morality" and "learning ability"

Japan Times

  • migrant rights NGO says ranking shows companies see trainees as cheap labourers
Europe & Central Asia
UK: Lidl first supermarket to pay living wage at Living Wage Foundation Rate from March 2017


EU Commission publishes action plan on Sustainable Development Goals
  • European Coalition for Corporate Justice says it "overlooks human rights risks of corporate activity"; also with commentary by SDG Watch Europe
Turkmenistan: Advocates urge UN Secretary-General to address forced & child labour in cotton industry & repression of human rights defenders during visit

The Cotton Campaign

Middle East & North Africa
Exports from Israeli settlements to EU: France becomes first European country to label items from settlements

Independent (UK)

Company responses
UN Forum 2016: Call for feedback (due 9 Dec)

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN OHCHR invites submissions re creation of database of business enterprises operating in Israeli settlements in Occupied Terriotries (dedline: 31 Dec)
Forthcoming events:
  • MA in Children's Rights, including child labour (apply by 1 Dec, Sion/Geneva)
  • "Law, Justice and Development Week 2016" (5-9 Dec, Washington DC)
  • Twitter chat on forced labour & the fashion industry (5 Dec, online)
  • breakfast briefing: corruption & transparency in Cambodian Govt. (7 Dec, London)
  • book launch of "Business and Human Rights: History, Law and Policy – Bridging the Accountability Gap" (7 Dec, London)
  • panel discussion on big business & farming sector in Africa (7 Dec, London)
  • webinar: risks of modern slavery in the ICT sector (7 Dec, online)
  • understanding legal implications of UK Modern Slavery Act (8 Dec, Birmingham)
Details of these and other events further in the future can be found here.  Please send relevant event information to Alex Janczenia:  
Current vacancies:
  • Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (Development Manager, Europe)
  • Global Witness (Chinese Communications Advisor)
  • Impactt Limited (Project Team Intern)
  • Intl. Finance Corp. (Research Analyst)
  • Urgent Action Fund-Africa (2 posts; Communications & Knowledge Management Programme Officer; Partnerships & Development Manager)
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 © 2016 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, All rights reserved.

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