Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - October 17, 2007

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 17 Oct 2007

Principales noticias / Articles de premier plan:

The top stories include / Las noticias incluyen / Les articles

* Joint open letter to UN Special Representative on business & human
rights, John Ruggie - 151 NGO & individual signatories
- John Ruggie's response
- Open letter from Sir Geoffrey Chandler to the signatories

* Lawsuit filed against Blackwater in USA for killings of Iraqi
- Blackwater CEO says "politically motivated lawsuit for media
- Iraq's Minister for Human Rights calls for Blackwater security guards
to stand trial in Iraq

* India: Over 400,000 children working in cottonseed fields, often
bonded labour
- Bayer CropScience response
- Monsanto has said it will provide a response for a future Update
- We also invited Nuziveedu, Rasi, Ankur to respond but they have not
done so
- Dutch Parliament submits questions to Dutch trade & foreign ministers
on child labour in India

* US court allows lawsuit by apartheid victims against 23 companies to
- Companies include Barclays, BP, Citigroup, Commerzbank, Deutsche
Bank, ExxonMobil, Ford, Fujitsu, General Motors, IBM, Total, UBS

* Russia & Kazakhstan: Uzbek migrant workers in slave-like conditions
in construction, agriculture, textiles

* Merowe Dam, Sudan: Lahmeyer photographs of resettlement programme
(further to previous Updates)

* IBM partners with Grameen Foundation to expand microfinance software

* Thailand: "Systematic exploitation" of Burmese migrant workers -
though some companies providing better conditions than others

* USA: Congressional panel summons Yahoo! officials for 6 Nov hearing,
saying Yahoo! provided false information regarding case of imprisoned
Chinese journalist Shi Tao

* DHL extends UNICEF partnership globally, following successful Kenya
pilot to fight malaria

* US "boot camp"-style private treatment centres for teenagers: Govt.
Accountability Office reports on thousands of cases of abuse, some
leading to deaths

* Aspen Institute ranks business schools on teaching of social,
environmental issues - Stanford tops list

* Closing statements in US lawsuit against Dole & Dow - lawyer says
companies' use of pesticides in Nicaragua "left workers sterile"
- Dole lawyer says some workers didn't care about having children

* Final reminder: Internships at Business & Human Rights Resource
Centre - deadline for applications end of 18 Oct

* Español: Carta abierta conjunta a John Ruggie, representante especial
de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos
- Respuesta de John Ruggie (solamente en inglés)

* Español: Nicaragua: En argumentos finales en corte de EE.UU.
campesinos dicen haber quedado estériles tras exposición a insecticida tóxico
usado por Dole Foods y Dow Chemical

* Español: Argentina: Evento evaluará el rol de las instituciones
financieras internacionales sobre los derechos humanos (18 octubre)

* Español: Trabajadores del Grupo Telefónica en Latinoamérica y España
realizan día contra el trabajo infantil

* Español: México: Agencias ambientales culpan a minera Continuum
Resources de secar manantiales de poblaciones en Oaxaca

* Español: Colombia: A juicio 11 ejecutivos de Nestlé por despido
irregular de 180 trabajadores

* Français : Lettre ouverte à John Ruggie, Représentant spécial de
l'ONU sur les entreprises & les droits de l'homme, signée par 151
organismes & individus
- Réponse de John Ruggie (seulement en anglais)

* Français : États-Unis : Commission du Congrès convoque Yahoo! dans le
cas du journaliste chinois emprisonné, Shi Tao

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