Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - October 10, 2007

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 10 Oct 2007

Principales noticias / Articles de premier plan:

The top stories include / Las noticias incluyen / Les articles

* Sir Geoffrey Chandler: "Total's response to criticisms of its
presence in Burma is in the worst tradition of corporate irresponsibility"
- We invited Total to respond but have not yet received a response

* Cartier announces it has stopped buying gemstones which may have been
mined in Burma, until further notice

* USA: Jewelers of America seeks import ban on Burmese gemstones until
abuses end, asks members to ensure gems don't come from Burma

* Salil Tripathi says activists campaigning on human rights in Burma
should focus less on Western companies, more on govts. backing the
Burmese authorities

* Dem. Rep. of Congo: Community group concerned about toxic waste that
Chevron buried between 1986-1990 & recently excavated
- Chevron responds

* Merowe Dam, Sudan: Response by Chinese company Harbin Power
Engineering to concerns about forced evictions (further to previous Updates)

* Ogoomor, Mongolia: Arbitrary arrests & violence escalate after
Russian gold company asks for increased security measures against illegal
- Article includes comments by the company, Altan Dornod Mongol

* Remarks by John Ruggie at World Bank forum: "Business and the rules
of the game: From rule-takers to rule-makers?"

* Interviews with executives of Beijing Olympic sponsors General
Electric, UPS, adidas, Hyatt, Akqa Mobile - & with Sharon Hom (Human Rights
in China) who is encouraging the sponsors to address human rights issues

* Global Witness report: "Oil and Mining in Violent Places - Why
voluntary codes for companies don't guarantee human rights"

* Video of recent US Congress hearing on reported abuses by Blackwater
security firm in Iraq & Afghanistan

* Dem. Rep. of Congo: Procter & Gamble raises significant funds for
UNICEF tetanus vaccination programme - "clever marketing or making a real

* UK: Dossier of 200 cases reveals beating & racial abuse of failed
asylum-seekers by private security guards, during deportation
- XL Airways says it will no longer carry failed asylum seekers
forcibly removed from the UK - Virgin and British Airways say they are "under
a legal obligation to return failed asylum-seekers", but Home Office
says airlines have discretion

* UK: "A Campaigner's Guide" to the new Companies Act
- Act has provisions on directors' duties and transparency that include
environmental, social requirements

* Sir Geoffrey Chandler argues that John Ruggie's caution in his role
as UN Special Representative on business & human rights reveals the
pressure he faces from both companies and their critics

* "Voluntary initiatives - Helping the laggards join the race" by
Christine Bader

* Español: México: Comisión civil señala que muertes en mina de Grupo
México pudieron haberse prevenido

* Español: Repsol rechaza acusaciones de Intermón Oxfam sobre
"presiones" de la compañía a los indígenas de Bolivia

* Español: Irak: Investigación del gobierno dice que Blackwater mató a
17 civiles; recomienda abrir juicio contra empresa

* Español: Colombia: Encuesta de ANDI entre sus empresas afiliadas
muestra que 34% son miembro del Pacto Global, y 54% dicen desarrollar
programas de derechos humanos

* Español: Chile: Sigue en trámite caso de proyecto Pascua Lama ante la
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

* Français : Congo : Nouveau comité de l`Initiative pour la
transparence des industries extractives comprend deux activistes des droits de

* Français : Cartier annonce qu'elle a cessé d'acheter les pierres
gemmes qui auraient pu être extraites en Birmanie jusqu'à nouvel ordre
(seulement en anglais)

* Français : Argentine : Les autorités traquent les entreprises
polluantes, y compris Danone, Shell

* Français : Rép. Dém. du Congo : Réponse de Chevron à des questions au
sujet de déchets toxiques dans le littoral de Muanda (réponse
disponible seulement en anglais - suite à notre bulletin du 26 septembre)

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