Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - January 30, 2008

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 30 January

CLICK THIS LINK FOR ALL TOP STORIES added past 7 days / Principales
noticias / Articles de premier plan:

The top stories include / Las noticias incluyen / Les articles

* "Business & Human Rights in Conflict Zones: The Role of Home States"
- Report on consultation co-convened by Global Witness and UN Special
Representative John Ruggie, Berlin, 5 Nov 2007

* "Private Security Contractors at War: Ending the Culture of
Impunity", report by Human Rights First
- Responses by Aegis, Crescent Security, Triple Canopy
- We also invited Blackwater, Custer Battles, KBR, Zapata Engineering
to respond. We will indicate in next week's Update whether they have

* Private sector engagement in humanitarian relief - 2 new initiatives:

- World Economic Forum & UN "Guiding Principles for Public-Private
Collaboration for Humanitarian Action"
- Agility, TNT, UPS launch joint emergency response initiative

* Concerns raised over Firestone sponsorship of US Super Bowl given
alleged labour & environmental abuses in Liberia
- Firestone response
- Rejoinder to Firestone by Dave Zirin

* USA: "Starbucks emails describe efforts to stop unionization" (Wall
St. Journal)
- Company says it complies with labour laws

* India: Dutch NGOs and Fiber & Fabrics Intl. come to agreement in
labour rights case - ombudsman will be appointed to resolve future problems

* Bangladesh: Police arrest Worker Rights Consortium investigator; WRC
says "no legitimate reason" for arrest
- NGOs call on retailers to make enquiries of govt.

* Ecuador revokes hundreds of mine concessions over failure to pay
environmental levies

* Amnesty Intl. calls on French banks to strengthen policies on
anti-personnel mines & cluster munitions
- Response by Crédit Agricole
- Natixis has indicated it will send a response, which we will include
in a future Update
- BNP Paribas indicated it is in dialogue with Amnesty Intl. and
therefore does not wish to respond publicly to Amnesty's 24 Jan press release
- Société Générale said it has proposed a meeting with Amnesty Intl.
We will indicate in next week's Update whether it has provided a

* UK: 21 food manufacturers commit to save water, including Cadbury
Schweppes, Tate & Lyle, Nestlé

* further to our 16 Jan Update: Rejoinder by Adalah-NY to Lev Leviev
response regarding alleged abuses in Occupied Territories, Angola, New
York, sourcing from Burma
- Lev Leviev declines to comment further, but provides updated list of
non-profits that have received donations from Mr. Leviev

* Español: Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos emite medidas
cautelares por "negligencia" contra El Salvador por contaminación de
Baterías RECORD

* Español: Honduras: Análisis de laboratorio muestran daños a la salud
de personas en el Valle de Siria - minera Entremares niega su

* Español: Caixa Catalunya apoya con microcréditos a emprendedores en
Ecuador y Colombia

* Español: Ecuador revoca 587 concesiones mineras por "no pagar"
patentes ambientales

* Español: Argentina: Corte ordena a HSBC a indemnizar a trabajadora

* Français : Amnesty International demande aux banques françaises
d'adopter des politiques de non-investissement dans les entreprises liées
aux mines antipersonnel & aux bombes à sous-munitions
- Réponse de Crédit Agricole
- Natixis a indiqué qu'elle répondra; nous inclurons sa réponse dans
une prochaine édition
- Société Générale a indiqué qu'elle a proposé une réunion à Amnesty
International à ce sujet. Nous indiquerons dans la prochaine édition si
elle a fourni une réponse.
- BNP Paribas a indiqué qu'elle est couramment en dialogue avec Amnesty
International, donc elle préfère ne pas répondre publiquement au
communiqué d'Amnesty du 24 janvier

* Français : Alliance d'entreprises contre la faim réunit Unilever,
Monsanto, TNT, Nike - ONGs africaines craignent que l'initiative ne
bénéficiera pas aux petits producteurs

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