Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - May 13, 2009

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 13 May 2009

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

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* Panel discussion on workplace racial discrimination & diversity, United Nations, Geneva, 22 Apr
- co-organized by Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
- text of presentations: OHCHR, ILO, Nedbank, Novo Nordisk, Danish Institute, Equality & Human Rights Commission (UK), Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

* Statement by Asian civil society groups to UN Special Representative John Ruggie, following regional consultation in Delhi
- response by John Ruggie

* Japan: Equality Now calls on Illusion Software to withdraw video game with simulated rape
- AFP article with company response

* UK Parliament Joint Committee inquiry on business & human rights:
- new submissions by ActionAid, Amnesty UK, Bonita Meyersfeld, Business in the Community, Colombia Solidarity Campaign, EarthRights, Institute for Human Rights & Business, Intl. Business Leaders Forum, Leigh Day & Co, Oxfam GB, Sir Geoffrey Chandler, Synergy Global Consulting, War on Want, Working Group on Mining in the Philippines
- previous submissions also available

* "The cost of coercion": ILO report on forced labour worldwide
- says economic crisis may inhibit efforts to combat it

* UK: Prudential first mainstream insurer to offer life coverage for people with HIV

* Australian engineering firm Downer EDI pulls its subsidiary CPG out of Burma - CPG was working on airport that NGOs say is being built with forced labour

* Armenia: NGOs protest against VTB Bank for funding planned copper project, alleging it will harm health, environment
- comments by company included

* Ghana: Development NGOs concerned by Barclays' role in new tax haven - say it could exacerbate poverty in W. Africa
- article includes comments by Barclays

* Invitation for UK companies to take part in Ministry of Justice survey on business & human rights (deadline 29 May)

* USA: Prison firm Geo Group (formerly Wackenhut Corrections) to pay $42.5 million for prisoner's beating death

* Burma: Report on widespread abuses along gas pipeline operated by state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise; pipeline begins at Total Pipeline Center

* Central & Eastern Europe: Survey shows increase in social, environmental reporting by companies

* Bahrain to end sponsorship system for migrant workers, which human rights groups say allows exploitation by employers

* USA: Large fund managers such as TIAA-CREF, T. Rowe Price, Vanguard paying increasing attention to human rights

* Intl. coalition of investors endorses US "Employee Free Choice Act" to facilitate forming & joining unions

* UK: Gangmasters Licensing Authority launches consultation on protocol to combat labour exploitation
- Protocol developed through discussions with ASDA/Wal-Mart, Co-operative, Iceland/Big Food, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose

* Dell adopts e-waste policy - says "any non-functioning electronics will not be exported to developing countries for recycling"

* New book: "SA8000: The First Decade - Implementation, Influence, and Impact"
- Book has case studies on Chiquita, Gap, Gucci, Otto, Tata Steel, TNT

* Forthcoming seminar, Sydney, 21 May: "Corporate responsibility: failed rhetoric or future remedy?" - focus on business & human rights

* Español: Perú: Survival dice que Perupetro niega la existencia de indígenas no contactados para justificar exploraciones
- Invitamos a Perupetro a responder pero no lo hizo

* Español: Argentina: Vecinos de Magdalena decidirán sobre oferta de Shell de pagar US$9,5 millones por impactos de derrame de crudo

* Español: Activista guatemalteco Dr. Yuri Melini recibe premio Front Line por su lucha contra el "daño ambiental" causado por la minería

* Español: Pfizer colabora con ONG Medicines for Malaria Venture en la investigación del tratamiento contra la malaria

* Español: Chile & Argentina: Barrick Gold iniciará construcción del proyecto minero Pascua Lama
- líderes comunitarios dicen que el proyecto no tiene "licencia social"

* Español: Nicaragua: Vecinos acusan a Plásticos Modernos ante Procuraduría por gases tóxicos que han "causado patologías"

* Français : Dole accusée devant la justice américaine d'implication dans des assassinats en Colombie pour avoir financé les paramilitaires

* Français : Un nouveau rapport global du BIT sur le travail forcé - «Le coût de la coercition»

* Français : Côte d'Ivoire : MTN soutient la lutte contre la pauvreté rurale à travers un programme du PNUD visant les femmes

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