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Weekly Update - 3 February 2016

Lead Story

Outreach to garment brands sourcing from Turkey reveals leading companies, while most not fast enough to safeguard Syrian refugees from exploitation
  • C&A, Next, White Stuff taking principled approach to protect refugees
  • Next, H&M take concerted action to protect child refugees found at suppliers
  • concerns include low wages, child labour & sexual abuse; briefing makes recommendations to clothing companies
  • audit processes not fit for purpose - largely announced audits on 1st-tier suppliers, less scrutiny further down
  • brands have shown unprecedented collaborative engagement with Turkish Govt. over work permits
  • more information on exploitation of Syrian refugees

(Photo credit: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre)
From us
Asia & Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & No. Africa
From Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Latest news on the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, including list of companies included in pilot ranking
  • final online consultation on revised methodology (8-26 Feb)
Upcoming webinar: "Business & Responsible Taxation" (18 Feb)

UN Global Compact and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Report calls on development banks to provide stronger complaints mechanisms for people harmed by their projects

Accountability Counsel, SOMO (editors) & other NGOs

  • evaluates cases based on UN Guiding Principles effectiveness criteria for non-judicial grievance mechanisms
Global Witness urges EU govts. to support mandatory due diligence regulation on conflict minerals NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights resigns from Global Network Initiative

New toolbox on assessing human rights impacts of business projects & activities

Danish Institute for Human Rights

"What Do Human Rights Have to Do With Mergers and Acquisitions?"

Anna Triponel, Shift

Uganda: 60+ NGOs say granting oil licenses in Lake Edward area could damage livelihoods & environment

Oil in Uganda

Brazil: Govt. announces 43% decrease in child labour in 10 years

IANS (Brazil)

  • govt. says figure fell from 5+ million child labourers in 2004 to 2.8 million in 2014
Mexico: Case study on Oaxaca wind farms highlights impacts of renewable energy projects on local communities

Equitable Origin

Asia & Pacific
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank formally established, civil society concerned that social & environment safeguards remain weak

China Dialogue

Japan: NGOs call on govt. to reaffirm commitment to responsible supply chains at G7 summit in Ise-shima

Network for a Japanese Natl. Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

Bangladesh: Global unions say govt. is failing to comply with labour rights, health & safety standards set in compact with EU


Australia: NGOs call on govt. to develop a Natl. Action Plan on business & human rights

Human Rights Law Centre & 13 other NGOs, religious groups & other organizations

Further to last week's Update: EarthRights Intl. critiques Enodo Rights' assessment of Barrick Gold's Porgera remedy framework in Papua New Guinea
  • Enodo Rights responds to critique
Myanmar: Transnatl. Institute asks: "Is there a human right to land?"
  • urgent question as rural communities face threat of losing lands in face of ethnic conflict, exploitative laws, powerful economic actors
Europe & Central Asia
Azerbaijan: Report documents abuses of oil workers’ rights including non-payment of wages, discrimination, lack of union rights, health & safety violations

Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization

  • we invited the companies mentioned in the report to respond
  • responses provided by ASCO, BP, Intertek, Maersk Drilling and Swift Worldwide Resources
  • Baghlan Group, BOS Shelf, Elite Marine Services, EnerMech, Global Energy Azerbaijan, SOCAR, Statoil and Stork did not respond
Russia: 12 people, including 3 children, killed in fire at textile workshop


Garment workers face forced overtime & poverty wages in Czech Republic & Poland, says Clean Clothes Campaign
Middle East & North Africa
Iran: Spotlight on business & human rights as country opens for investments

Reuters; Affectio Mutandi (France)

  • at least USD 37 billion in business deals since lifting of sanctions
  • calls for "heightened due diligence" by French firms
Qatar is "failing on crucial labour law reforms", says Human Rights Watch
Company responses Non-responses
Tokyo Olympic Organising Committee publishes draft sustainability framework (open for comments until 12 Feb)

UNICEF launches consultation on child rights self-impact assessment tool for mobile operators (deadline: 18 Mar)
Forthcoming events:
  • legal training on business & human rights (6-7 Feb, London)
  • 7th Alternative Mining Indaba (8-10 Feb, Cape Town)
  • lessons from Bodo Community v Shell litigation (16 Feb, Oxford)
  • live chat on supporting migrant workers in palm oil supply chain (17 Feb, online)
  • conference: just taxation of multinational corps. (18 Feb, Berlin) 
  • human rights law & the extractive industries (18-19 Feb, Panama City)
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:  
We take no position on views by commentators, organizations & companies in the materials in this email:
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