Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 23, 2008

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 23 Apr 2008

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

Español: ver abajo - Français : voir ci-dessous

* 2008 report by UN Special Representative John Ruggie: "Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights"
- UN Human Rights Council will consider report at forthcoming session 2-13 June 2008, Geneva

* Commentary on John Ruggie's report by Center for Human Rights & Environment (Argentina)

* China: Human Rights Watch calls on Beijing Olympic sponsors to "live up to their professed standards of corporate social responsibility" and speak out about deteriorating human rights situation in China
- Provides excerpts from sponsors' statements on human rights & Olympics

* So. African Human Rights Commission summons 3 ministers over abuses related to mining application by Mineral Commodities

* Anglo American ties managers' promotions to safety record, in initiative to achieve zero deaths at its mines

* Ghana: Communities accuse AngloGold Ashanti of discharging raw sewage into water source
- AngloGold Ashanti denies allegations

* Guatemala: Death threats against bishop allegedly due to his criticism of mining practices in his diocese
- We invited Goldcorp to respond but they declined to do so

* US Supreme Court to decide whether to hear companies' appeal in apartheid reparations case - review of both sides' arguments

* Indonesia: L'Oréal partners with UNESCO to encourage hairdressers to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS

* United Arab Emirates: Some improvements in construction workers' conditions, but abuses still common

* Oxfam America & Economic Community of W. African States to create common mining code for the region - seeks to improve protection of human rights & environment

* Aspen Institute survey of students at 15 top business schools finds social issues are important factor in career choices

* BNP Paribas responds to Amnesty Intl. France regarding investment in landmines & cluster bombs (further to previous Updates)

* Español: Guatemala: Amenazas de muerte contra obispo supuestamente por sus críticas a la minería en su diócesis
- Goldcorp declina comentar

* Español: Ecuador: Organización civil planea denunciar a Bechtel ante Corte Interamericana por deterioro de la calidad del agua en Guayaquil

* Español: Argentina: Inclusión económica y social - Arcor y su programa de responsabilidad social con proveedores

* Español: España: Caixa Sabadell pacta con sus empleados un protocolo contra el acoso laboral

* Español: España: Juzgado dice que Cadena Cope despidió a redactora por estar casada con una mujer y por su afiliación política

* Español: Ecuador: Demandantes del juicio contra Chevron/Texaco en Ecuador fueron premiados en EE.UU. con el Goldman Prize

* Français : Reporters sans Frontières interpelle Coca Cola & d'autres sponsors des JO lors des assemblées générales à propos des droits de l'homme en Chine
- réponses du PDG & d'un directeur de Coca-Cola

* Français : Credit Suisse distribue des ballons qui auraient été fabriqués par des enfants au Pakistan - la banque répond

* Français : Projet commun de code minier commun dans la Communauté Economique des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest vise la protection de l'environnement & des droits humains

* Français : Réponse de BNP Paribas aux déclarations d'Amnesty International France sur des investissements dans des entreprises liées au commerce de mines antipersonnel et de bombes à sous-munitions

* Français : Canada : Novae juge les rapports de développement durable exemplaires - Telus, BC Hydro, Enbridge, Syncrude, Suncor, Transalta, Vancity

ARCHIVE of past Weekly Updates / ARCHIVO de actualizaciones pasadas / ARCHIVE des Actualités hebdomadaires précédentes:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights

This is an important development. John Ruggie, Special Representative of the (UN) Secretary General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, in response to a request from the Human Rights Council, has just released a report containing a conceptual and policy framework that will suggestion direction for all parties involved in discussions of business and human rights and corporate social responsibility. Quoting from the summary of the report, the framework contains three principles:
  • the State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business;
  • the corporate responsibility to respect human rights;
  • the need for more effective access to remedies.
Here is the full report.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 16, 2008

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 16 Apr 2008

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

Espa�ol: ver abajo - Fran�ais : voir ci-dessous

* adidas suppliers in China:

- Allegations of rigged union election at Shunda factory, decline in
working conditions since adidas acquired Reebok
- adidas responds, disputing the allegations

- Report by Sunday Times (UK) alleges labour abuses at adidas suppliers
in Fuzhou, including Shunda factory
- adidas responds - says article contains "erroneous conclusions"

* Florida, USA: Coalition of Immokalee Workers calls on Burger King to
support better living & working conditions for tomato pickers
- Burger King responds
- US Senate hearing on working conditions of Florida tomato pickers

* Kenya: Over 50 hotels sign code of conduct aimed at protecting
children from sexual exploitation

* Ecuador: Court-appointed expert says Chevron should pay $7-16 billion
to compensate for pollution; Chevron rejects expert's conclusions
- Lawyers representing indigenous peoples in Chevron case win Goldman
Environmental Prize; Chevron responds

* "Corporate Responsibilities for Access to Medicines" - paper by Klaus
Leisinger, Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development

* "Sudan's Oil Industry - Facts and Analysis" - Dossier by 2 NGO

* Coca-Cola under increasing pressure from human rights groups over
Beijing Olympics sponsorship
- includes comments by Coca-Cola

* ILO highlights improvement in workplace attitudes toward HIV/AIDS -
credits written policies, use of ILO Code of Practice

* Conference Board finds more companies creating programmes to help
employees deal with HIV/AIDS

* Erinys response to War on Want allegations of abuses in Iraq

* Coalition files shareholder resolutions with Citigroup, JPMorgan
Chase, Wells Fargo - calls on them to urge oil companies they invest in to
press Sudanese Govt. over Darfur
- also provided: banks' responses in proxy statements

* Global Reporting Initiative says companies should go further on human
rights reporting

* China: Former businessman John Kamm says companies' relationships
with govt. can be put to good use for human rights, "but most
businesspeople don't want to"

* USA: Nursing homes pressure patients to sign arbitration clauses, to
limit companies' liability on claims that negligence led to injury or

* Job announcement for Danish Institute for Human Rights: Advisor,
Human Rights & Business Project (deadline 16 May)

* Innovest & Inter-American Development Bank launch index of companies
that address needs of the poor - top firms in initial ranking are Banco
Bradesco, Grupo ACP, Paralife, Unibanco, Cemex

* Espa�ol: Honduras: "Seguridad privada, un gran ej�rcito sin control"

* Espa�ol: La OIT observa una mejora en las actitudes hacia el VIH/SIDA
en el ambiente laboral

* Espa�ol: Chile: Minor�as sexuales aplauden las medidas
antidisriminatorias de la nueva justicia laboral

* Espa�ol: Doe Run Per� pierde la certificaci�n ISO 14001 por gesti�n

* Fran�ais : Le Bureau International du Travail constate un progr�s
significatif dans les attitudes � l'�gard du VIH/Sida sur les lieux de

* Fran�ais : Coalition Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez applaudit l'effort de
la Banque Mondiale pour �largir l'Initiative de la Transparence dans
les Industries Extractives - demande l'implication de la soci�t� civile

* Fran�ais : France : Cas de discrimination raciale & sexiste contre
Bosch repasse devant les prud'hommes de Lyon

ARCHIVE of past Weekly Updates / ARCHIVO de actualizaciones pasadas /
ARCHIVE des Actualit�s hebdomadaires pr�c�dentes:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 9, 2008

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 9 Apr 2008

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

Español: ver abajo - Français : voir ci-dessous

* John Ruggie selected as Guggenheim Fellow 2008: Work will focus on
"Governing multinationals: the case of human rights"

* "Bringing together business and human rights" - interview with Mike
Posner of Human Rights First, by Sharon Hom of Human Rights in China

* Roots co-founder says he is relieved not to have US Olympic team
contract, given China human rights concerns

* Nigeria: Niger Delta youth group sues Chevron, ExxonMobil, Nigeria
Agip, NNPC, Shell, Total over gas flaring, in Nigerian court
- Economist article on failure to meet gas flaring deadline

* HP names top-tier suppliers - some flout its code, but campaigners
praise disclosure

* Ethiopia: 11 companies commit to taking steps to fight AIDS within
100 days

* Christine Bader on business & human rights, work of UN Special
Representative John Ruggie

* Another KBR employee alleges rape by colleague in Iraq
- Includes company response

* ArmorGroup calls for US regulation of private military contractors

* Impact of WTO rules on business' ability to fulfill human rights
responsibilities, & state duty to protect - submission by Susan Aaronson to
John Ruggie

* China: Allegations of labour abuses at factory supplying adidas,
including discrimination against men, flawed union election
- Includes comments by adidas

* Dem. Rep. of Congo: Threats against human rights defenders
investigating killings at Kilwa for possible claims against Anvil Mining

* Google helps UN refugee agency highlight refugee crises in Iraq,
Chad, Colombia, Darfur & neighbouring countries

* "Where is the evidence that 'philanthrocapitalism' works?"

* US military charges contractor over assault in Iraq - could be test
case for accountability of private military companies
- Commentary questions why this particular case was chosen

* Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is recruiting interns for
London office - deadline 6 May 2008

* Español: Perú: Vecinos del complejo metalúrgico de Doe Run recibirán
diagnósticos médicos integrales

* Español: México: Denuncias de trabajadores y de presidente Calderón
sobre "malos tratos" en Dasan Confección son rechazadas por la empresa

* Español: España: Un estudio apunta a los sectores farmacéutico y
asegurador como los más sensibles respecto a la igualdad de género

* Perú: Opositores a la minería en Piura son acusados ante fiscalía,
ellos denuncian "escenario de represión"

* Español: España: Caja Navarra, Grupo Vips, DKV Seguros, Microsoft son
premiadas por promover la integración social de personas

* Español: HP da a conocer la lista de sus principales proveedores

* Français : HP dévoile le nom de ses fournisseurs les plus importants
par souci de transparence

* Français : Rép. Dém. du Congo : Défenseurs des droits de l'homme
empêchés de rencontrer les victimes du massacre de Kilwa - Anvil Mining
avait été accusé d'avoir fourni du soutien logistique aux militaires

* Français : France : Renault reconnu coupable de discrimination

Sunday, April 6, 2008

GPC: Time for Responsible Corporate Governance

This is from the GPC website. Link.
It is Time for Responsible Corporate Governance, Greens

OTTAWA – On the one-year anniversary of the Advisory Report from the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility the Green Party joins the call for enhanced government oversight for Canada’s extractive companies operating in developing countries.

The National Roundtables were set up in response to a unanimous report from the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade that called on the federal government to put in place a process that will establish oversight mechanisms for Canada’s mining, oil and gas companies operating in the developing world.

The Advisory Group from the National Roundtables was made up of representatives from industry, labour, the investment community, civil society, and academia and their Advisory Report represents a consensus position among these groups. The federal government has not yet responded to the Advisory Report.

“Canada has become known as a country that fails to adequately monitor and regulate its multinational corporations. This Advisory Report represents a unique and responsible position on corporate accountability that represents the interests of both industry and civil society,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “It is imperative that the federal government not only bring forward a response to this groundbreaking report, but begin working diligently to implement every one of its recommendations.”

If implemented, this recommended framework would set out clear standards and reporting obligations for Canadian corporations. It would establish an ombudsman office with the power to investigate and evaluate complaints from affected communities and determine levels of compliance with the established standards. The Advisory Report not only calls for the development of tools for advancing best practices in the extractive industry but outlines a set of procedures for withholding government services from companies that are seriously non-compliant.

“There have been growing reports of devastating human rights abuses and environmental destruction as a result of Canadian extractive companies operating in developing countries. This Advisory Report represents a consensus position between industry and civil society and sets out an effective framework for facing the challenges of corporate governance,” said International Affairs Critic Eric Walton. “We call on the Harper government to recognize the significance of this consensus position and begin acting upon their recommendations.”

The Green Party has committed to the following:
• Renegotiating our multilateral trade agreements, such as NAFTA, to include fair trade tariffs that work to protect human rights and our ecosystems, as well as terminate investor-state dispute mechanisms that erode Canada's sovereignty and environmental laws.
• Proposing a reform of the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, placing these institutions under the authority of the UN general assembly, and shift the direction of international trade away from “free trade” to “fair trade” focusing on the global protection of human rights, labour standards, cultural diversity, and ecosystems.
The Green Party also supports Peter Julian’s private member’s bill (Bill C-492) which allows the Federal Courts to hear and decide claims for violations of international law that takes place outside Canada. This legislation would allow non-citizens to sue anyone for gross violations of basic human, environmental or labour rights when they are committed outside the country.

The Advisory Report can be found here:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 2, 2008

From the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 2 Apr 2008

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

Espa�ol: ver abajo - Fran�ais : voir ci-dessous

* So. Africa: Human Rights Commission to investigate how mining affects
rights of nearby communities

* "Embedding Human Rights in Business Practice II": New publication by
UN Global Compact & UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Includes 20 company cases studies

* Dem. Rep. of Congo plans certification scheme for conflict-free

* Canadian companies continue Tibet investments despite protests

* Alcoa invests in social projects near its Brazil mine - Wall St.
Journal says this marks shift in relations between mining firms & local
communities in developing countries

* Equatorial Guinea: 2 killed in clash between striking Chinese
construction workers & security forces

* So. Africa: Sasol to sell $3.2 billion of shares to black investors,
in largest deal of its kind to help compensate for apartheid

* China: GE lighting supplier & joint venture accused of subjecting
workers to toxins - GE says it will investigate

* Ghana: Acci�n Intl. & Ecobank launch joint microfinance bank

* Philippines: OceanaGold guard likely to be charged in shooting of
unarmed villager
- OceanaGold supports the police investigation

* Peru: Cicada Films accused of bringing "epidemic" to isolated Indians
- company denies allegations

* India: Health ministry plans bill to ban HIV/AIDS discrimination

* IBM sends 100 employees to address socio-economic issues in emerging
countries - "corporate version of Peace Corps"

* Amazon Watch urges fines for Chevron in USA - says company
misrepresents potential liability in Ecuador lawsuit
- Chevron response

* Independent advisory panel to BP's Tangguh gas project in West Papua
issues sixth report
- BP response

* "Business & Human Rights: Profits Before People?" - Rights &
Accountability in Development event, London, 18 Apr

* Espa�ol: Chile: Se estrena la nueva justicia laboral con primeras
demandas contra empresas

* Espa�ol: EE.UU.: Demanda contra supermercado Albertson's por
represalias contra trabajadores hispanos que denunciaron acoso racial

* Espa�ol: Confederaci�n Espa�ola de Hoteles apoya iniciativa que
promueve la normalizaci�n laboral de personas con discapacidad

* Espa�ol: Ecuador: Explotaci�n de cobre a gran escala por la minera
canadiense Ecsa - �fuente de riqueza o de conflicto social?
- Incluye comentarios de la empresa

* Espa�ol: Nicaragua: Un concurso premiar� a las Pymes que sean m�s
sustentables "en lo econ�mico, social y ambiental"

* Fran�ais : P�rou : Equipe de t�l� de Cicada Films accus�e d'avoir
provoqu� une "�pid�mie" chez des Indiens isol�s
- Cicada d�ment les accusations

* Fran�ais : La Vend�e, France : Directeurs d'entreprise condamnent la
r�pression au Tibet, mais "ne peuvent pas se permettre de ne pas
travailler avec la Chine"

* Fran�ais : B�nin : Cr�ation d'une coalition d'entreprises pour la
lutte contre le VIH/SIDA, la tuberculose et le paludisme

* Fran�ais : Bangladesh : Grameen Bank & Veolia Eau cr�ent une soci�t�
commune pour fournir l'eau potable aux populations rurales d�munies