Friday, June 29, 2007

Business & human rights: Weekly Update -- June 27, 2007

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 27 June 2007

Principales noticias / Articles de premier plan:

The top stories include / Las noticias incluyen / Les articles

* UN Special Representative John Ruggie addresses human rights treaty
bodies, Geneva, 19 June

* Business Week: Human rights groups pressure Olympic sponsors to raise
rights issues with China
- Sponsors include adidas, Coca-Cola, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak,
McDonald's, Samsung, Visa

* So. Africa: Foundation for Human Rights conference on business &
human rights, Jan 2007 - speaker papers
- Speakers included: Mary Robinson; EU Ambassador to So. Africa;
Christopher Avery, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; Bobby Peak,
Friends of the Earth

* Starbucks & Ethiopian Govt. settle trademark dispute - Oxfam welcomes

* Google calls on US trade officials to treat internet censorship as
intl. trade barriers

* Earthjustice presents "environmental rights" report to UN
- Refers to several companies including: AngloGold, Coca-Cola, Gabriel
Resources, Newmont, PetroChina

* UN Security Council encourages UN to prevent natural resources from
fuelling conflict - some diplomats say statement watered down

* Dominican Republic: Local community affected by dangerously high lead
levels from former battery recycling plant meet with the company
blamed to discuss solutions
- Metales y Óxido acknowledges some responsibility

* "Corporate Codes of Labour Practice: Can the Most Vulnerable Workers
Benefit?" - examines impact on migrant, casual, contract workers

* "The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises - An Evolving
Legal Status"

* Hardtalk interview with Rio Tinto chairman Paul Skinner: "Can mining
be sustainable?" (video)

* Español: República Dominicana: Alegan altos niveles de plomo en
personas del barrio "Paraíso de Dios" causados por empresa de baterías
Metaloxa (Metales y Óxido)
- Empresa acepta parte de la responsabilidad

* Español: EE.UU.: Hispano demanda a Standard & Poor's por
discriminación y acoso laboral

* Español: Chile: Enap y Celco son citadas a la comisión de medio
ambiente del Senado por doble contaminación

* Español: Argentina: Se crea red de empresas contra el trabajo
infantil incluyendo a Accor, Addeco, Arcor, Grupo Logístico Andreani,
Manpower, Nobleza Piccardo, Telefónica de Argentina-Movistar

* Français : Analyse juridique par Sherpa des Principes directeurs de

* Français : Canon, Nike, Unilever en tête des entreprises les plus
engagées contre le changement climatique, d'après le classement "Climate
Counts" ; parmi celles en dernière position,, Wendy's, Burger
King, Jones Apparel, CBS, Darden Restaurants

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New BHR group on Facebook.

I have just created a global Business & Human Rights group on Facebook. Not sure, but I think you have to take out a free membership to view it. It's here. Facebook home page is here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On the Map with Avi Lewis: Canadian mining companies and corporate social responsibility

The TV show On the Map with Avi Lewis last night discussed the issue of Canadian mining overseas, with a focus on the case of Vancouver-based mining company Skye Resources' displacement of farmworkers in Guatemala. A few of us were at a panel discussion on this case a couple of months ago. This episode of On the Map gives us an update from Radio Canada's Jean-Michel LePrince, and interviews the VP of Skye Resources Andrew Grant.

I would suggest for background checking out the original documentary from Rights Action. Video is by Stephen Schnoor, and photos are by James Rodriguez. Above are two examples of Rodriguez's work from this event. For more from him on the evictions, go here. Rights Action has been monitoring this case.

Lewis also talked about the recommendations arising from the Roundtable on CSR. He talked to Karyn Keenan from the Halifax Initiative. She talked about some of the recommendations, notably an independent ombudsman for investigating complaints

Unfortunately, though I am a regular viewer of On the Map, I didn't know about the topic of this episode in advance, and thus was unable to give notice. Nevertheless, you can view it at the program site.

Business & human rights: Weekly Update -- June 20, 2007

From the Business and Human Rights Resources Centre:

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 20 June 2007

Principales noticias / Articles de premier plan:

The top stories include / Las noticias incluyen / Les articles

* UN Human Rights Council extends Special Representative John Ruggie's
term until July 2008; business & human rights mandate may have 2nd term
from 2008-2011

* India: NGO report says Monsanto, Bayer are taking steps to address
child labour in cotton production but still have "much more" to do
- Bayer response
- Monsanto response

* Saudi Arabia: Increasing numbers of women enter business - Cisco
appoints its first female account manager there

* India: Prime Minister Singh sets out 10 Point Social Charter for

* Mine safety in So. Africa: Unions demand action on worker deaths in
Gold Fields, Anglo Platinum mines
- Gold Fields says it has made "very big safety interventions"
- Anglo Platinum suspends operations at Rustenburg mine to address
safety deterioration

* Colombia: "Massacres and paramilitary land seizures behind the
biofuel revolution"

* Physicians for Social Justice: "Novartis versus India - Putting
profit before human rights"
- Novartis statement on Glivec case in India

* Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria awards Chevron,
Coca-Cola, Standard Chartered, Abbott, Eskom, HBO, Eli Lilly, Marathon

* Kazakhstan: Workers allege appalling safety at Arcelor Mittal mines -
90 have died since 2004
- Arcelor Mittal says health & safety is "top priority" & intends to
invest £63m to improve safety there

* Nigeria: "Another approach to resolving resource conflicts"

* New non-profit "Climate Counts" ranks 56 companies on climate change
- Canon, Nike, Unilever, IBM score highest
- Lowest-scoring companies include, Jones Apparel, Levi
Strauss, eBay

* Español: Colombia: Al menos 1,390 niños laboran en minas de Boyacá de
3:00 a 8:00 a.m. para evadir controles, dice estudio en parte
adelantado por Fundación Cementos Argos

* Español: Perú: Evidencia implicaría a empresas de seguridad en
espionaje de opositores de la actividad minera

* Español: Brasil: Delegados del "Movimiento Sin Tierra" alertan sobre
peligros del etanol y los agronegocios

* Español: México/EE.UU.: A pesar de protestas por polución, Asarco
(parte del Grupo México) quiere reabrir fundidora en El Paso, argumentando
que ya no contamina

* Français : Chine : Manifestations contre un projet d'usine chimique
de Tenglong à Xiamen à cause d'inquiétudes pour ses effets sur la santé

* Français : Rép. Dém. du Congo : Bralima, filiale de Heineken, prend
des mesures pour protéger ses employés contre le VIH/Sida

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - June 13, 2007

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 13 June 2007

Principales noticias / Articles de premier plan:

The top stories include / Las noticias incluyen / Les articles

* G8 Summit expresses support for work of UN Special Representative
John Ruggie
- Declaration also refers to Voluntary Principles on Security & Human
Rights, UN Global Compact, other initiatives
- Paul Hohnen comments on G8's increasing attention to corporate

* Global labour agreements between companies & unions: ORSE analyses
the 59 existing agreements & makes recommendations

* China: Children abducted to work in slave-like conditions in Shanxi
brick factories - 400 parents write open letter (includes Resource
Centre summary translations of Chinese reports)

* Families of 173 victims of violence in Colombia bring lawsuit against
Chiquita in USA

* Global Witness: "Hot chocolate: How cocoa fuelled the conflict in
Côte d'Ivoire"

* US judge says suit against Chevron for alleged involvement of
subsidiary in Nigeria killings can proceed

* Yahoo! "dismayed" that citizens in China imprisoned for expressing
political views on internet
- Reporters Without Borders welcomes Yahoo! statement
- Amnesty supports Yahoo! shareholder resolution on internet freedom
(proposal voted down)

* Union report on Group 4 Securicor in Malawi, Mozambique, So. Africa
alleges poverty pay, poor working conditions & racism
- Statements by Group 4 Securicor

* "Dialogue on private military & security companies and human rights"
- summary notes of 8 May meeting hosted by Business & Human Rights
Resource Centre

* China: NGO report alleges labour abuses at 4 factories supplying
Beijing Olympics
- Most companies deny claims, Lekit Stationary admits a subcontractor
used child labour
- Beijing Olympics organisers order investigation, say may cancel
contracts of companies involved in abuses

* NGO seeks to put "US-sponsored torture" on trial in lawsuit against
Boeing unit Jeppesen for involvement in "extraordinary renditions"

* Español: EE.UU.: Familiares de 173 víctimas de paramilitares en
Colombia demandan a Chiquita, acusándola de estar involucrada con esas

* Español: Chile: Celco asume responsabilidad por contaminación en río
Mataquito y ofrece compensar a pescadores

* Español: Panamá: Intoxicación masiva causa la muerte a 104 personas,
luego de cadena de actuaciones "negligentes" por parte de empresas
Chinas, Españolas y Panameñas

* Español: Reporte de CorpWatch sobre los impactos ambientales y de
derechos humanos de Barrick Gold en varios países
- Respuesta de Barrick Gold (solamente en inglés))

* Español: Bolivia: Encuentro forestal entre empresas y comunidades
indígenas espera "eliminar" la pobreza, a través del manejo forestal

* Français : Ouvriers-esclaves dans une briquetrie Chinoise delivrés
par la police locale

* Français : Rapport "PlayFair 2008" sur la violation des droits du
travail chez quatre fournisseurs des Jeux olympiques de Beijing
- Organisateurs des Jeux feront une enquête

* Français : Yahoo ! critique la répression des internautes en Chine -
Reporters sans frontières salue la communiqué

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Business & human rights: Weekly Update

On this site, we will post weekly BHR updates from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Here is the first:

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 6 June 2007

Principales noticias / Articles de premier plan:

The top stories include / Las noticias incluyen / Les articles

* UN Special Representative John Ruggie to meet with human rights
treaty bodies on 19 June, Geneva

* Intl. Covenant on Civil & Political Rights: Report prepared for John
Ruggie surveys how the UN Human Rights Committee is addressing states'
responsibilities for regulating corporate activities

* China: FIDH report on forced evictions of poor Chongqing residents
for property development

* Nike to introduce "systemic" labour rights changes in its supply
chain, including education on freedom of association

* Amnesty Intl. says "virus of internet repression" must be stopped:
Global webcast 6 June, 18.30 GMT

* USA: Goldman Sachs endows chair in civil & human rights at Morehouse
College - will help bring Martin Luther King's writings to wider

* Rights & Democracy report raises concerns about projects by
Canadian-owned TVI Pacific, Nortel, SOMIKA in Asia & Africa - provides impact
assessment tools for affected communities
- TVI Pacific, Nortel deny allegations
- We will invite SOMIKA to provide a response
- Full report includes case study on Doe Run; previous Doe Run
statement provided

* US Govt. adds 31 new Sudanese companies to sanctions list over Darfur
- Human Rights Watch welcomes the "long overdue" measures, urges UN &
EU to follow

* "The Media and the Rwanda Genocide": Book with foreword by Kofi Annan
examines role of local & intl. media

* "Cleaning up": Economist survey on business & climate change

* Boehringer Ingelheim decides not to enforce patents on its anti-AIDS
drug Nevirapine in 78 low-income African & Asian countries

* Chile: Supreme Court orders govt. to compensate 356 residents
affected by toxic waste imported by Promel

* Español: EE.UU.: Corte da luz verde para juicio contra Dyncorp por
fumigaciones tóxicas en la frontera Colombo-Ecuatoriana

* Español: Corte Suprema de Chile sentencia al Estado a indemnizar a
356 habitantes contaminados con metales tóxicos desechados por
desaparecida empresa Promel

* Español: Argentina: Mapuches radican denuncia penal contra Benetton
en Esquel por "usurpación" de su territorio
- Incluye página informativa de Benetton

* Español: Chile: Anglo American y Fondo Esperanza lanzan programa de
microcréditos que espera llegar a 6.700 personas pobres

* Français : Chine : Habitants pauvres de Chongqing expulsés pour le
développement immobilier - compensation est rare, protestations souvent
violemment réprimés, selon la FIDH

* Français : Les droits de la personne doivent être intégrés à chaque
étape d'un projet pour atteindre les objectifs de développement social &
économique - études de cas sur TVI Pacific, Nortel, SOMIKA, Aguas
Argentinas, Doe Run (rapport de Droits & Démocratie)
- aussi disponible : Article du Globe & Mail avec réponses de TVI
Pacific & Nortel, réponse précédente de Doe Run aux accusations de pollution
au Pérou (les deux seulement en anglais)

* Français : Nike annonce une série de mesures pour 2011 visant à
améliorer les conditions de travail dans sa chaîne de production