Saturday, April 25, 2009

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 22, 2009

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 22 Apr 2009

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* Changuinola dam project, Panama: Cultural Survival says AES "using unscrupulous methods" to take indigenous people's land, "breaking up communities"
- AES response

* European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights:
- remarks by UN Special Representative John Ruggie
- statement by Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights

* Intl. Alert: 4 new reports on Colombia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda - role of business in economic recovery & peace-building

* Global economic downturn: Human rights implications and steps companies can take

* Commentary: Why mining companies should not neglect community engagement during the downturn

* Intl. Dalit Solidarity Network Annual Report 2008 - with section on private sector developments
- refers to initiatives by Daimler, HSBC, Shell

* Statement by global unions to UN Durban Review Conference on racism

* Philippines: Sagittarius Mines (SMI) adopts Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

* USA: Congressional report on 2008 blast at Bayer plant that killed 2 - finds significant safety lapses & "campaign of secrecy"
- also provided: testimony of William Buckner, CEO Bayer CropScience

* "Business and water issues: a human rights perspective" - CSR Asia

* Japan: Chinese interns treated as "sweatshop laborers" (industries include textiles, metal processing, farming

* Philippines: Companies & govt. to hold meeting on responsible mining (23-24 Apr)
- Natl. Commission on Indigenous People will present "how Berong Nickel Co. partnered with indigenous communities in pursuing responsible mining"

* BASESwiki online forum: New Chinese & Russian-language portals
- forum is on non-judicial mechanisms for disputes between companies & stakeholders

* Symposium: "Human Security and Business - Focusing on Conflicts, Human Mobility, and Governance" (London, 27 Apr)
- co-organized by Univ. of Tokyo and Cass Business School

* Conference: Canadian mining industry's sustainability & human rights impacts (Univ. of Toronto, 26 Apr)
- featuring speakers from indigenous communities in Canada, Chile, Congo, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Tanzania

* Vacancy: PhD candidate, Faculty of Law, Maastricht University - dissertation on justiciability of human rights violations by companies (deadline 11 May)

* Español: Chile: Sancionan a empresas por prácticas anti-sindicales - supermercados dicen que se trata de hechos puntuales

* Español: Panamá: Indígenas defienden sus tierras contra "agresiones" de empresas como AES
- AES dice que hay avances positivos respecto al reasentamiento de comunidades y estudio de la biodiversidad

* Español: Colombia: Policía impide protesta indígena contra Puerto Brisa en La Guajira

* Español: Oxfam critica la promoción de la atención de la salud por medio de asistencia privada en países pobres

* Español: Alianza de Telefónica y Nokia para llevar contenidos educativos a escuelas remotas de América Latina

* Español: México: Foro de pueblos indígenas en Oaxaca exige respeto de sus territorios y suspensión de proyectos empresariales

* Français : Pfizer & Abbott promettent davantage d'anti-rétroviraux à l'Afrique

* Français : Oxfam critique la promotion des soins privés pour améliorer la santé dans les pays pauvres

* Français : Résumé de l'audition sur les entreprises et droits de l'homme, organisée par la sous-commission droits de l'homme du Parlement Européen
- Interview avec John Ruggie, représentant de la ONU sur les entreprises et droits de l'homme

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Colombia workshop

The info for this workshop was retrieved from this site.

Colombia, the Conflicts and Beyond: Perspectives on a Canadian Ally

A Public Workshop

Sunday, April 19 2009

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

*5:00 pm Reception following workshop (with Colombian music)

SFU, Segal School of Business

Event Rooms 1300 - 1500

500 Granville Street, Vancouver (W Pender & Granville)

Free Admission and Open to the Public

Sponsored by:

SFU Latin American Studies Program, UBC Latin American Studies Program, Latin American Studies Students’ Union (SFU), Simon Fraser Students’ Society (SFSS), and the SFU Graduate Student Society.


In a brief tour of Latin America in July 2007, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a major foreign policy shift towards increased Canadian engagement in the Americas. One of his stops included a visit to Colombia, a troubled country that has since become one of Canada’s closest political allies in the region.

While there has been much academic and public debate on recent political and social ‘left turns’ in Latin America, Colombia appears to have followed a diverging path. Marred by the decades of violence affected by government forces, right-wing paramilitary groups and Latin America’s longest-standing guerrilla insurgency, Colombia is the site of one of the world’s most urgent humanitarian crises, with 4 million people having been forcibly displaced. This situation has not advanced without rising contention from below. Colombian social and popular movements are emerging with vibrant proposals for peace, local autonomy and ‘a country without owners,’ facing down violent repression from all the armed actors.

Drawing on the perspectives of leading academics and social movement activists from across North America and Colombia, this full day public workshop is intended as a space to inform and discuss Colombia’s complex history, present, and the role of Canada in its future.

Speakers include:

Jasmin Hristov (York University)

Forrest Hylton (New York University)

Catherine LeGrand (McGill University)

Micheál Ó Tuathail (Simon Fraser University, La Chiva Collective, Canada)

Nazih Richani (Kean University, NJ)

Julian Torres (University of British Columbia, Okanagan)

Manuel Rozental (Pueblos en Camino Collective, Hemispheric Social Alliance)

Gustavo Ulcué (Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca, Colombia)

pdf posterPROGRAM

pdf posterPOSTER

Workshop Program


Welcome and Introduction

- Eric Hershberg, Simon Fraser University

- William French, University of British Columbia


The Roots and Evolution of Conflict in Colombia

Moderator: UBC Grad Student TBA

Situating the problem of violence in Colombia historically, encompassing both domestic dynamics of social and political exclusion and the influence of the international context.

- Forrest Hylton, New York University

- Catherine LeGrand, McGill University

- Nazih Richani, Kean University, New Jersey


Brief Break

Coffee and refreshments


The Armed Conflict and Beyond

Moderator: Luis Moncayo, MA Candidate, Latin American Studies (SFU)

Colombia’s conflict in its contemporary context, outlining the interests of armed actors and the relationships among them. This session will further consider other actors involved in the conflict, displacement and humanitarian issues, the rise of paramilitarism and the contemporary decline of the armed insurgencies.

- Julian Torres, University of British Columbia, Okanagan

- Jasmin Hristov, York University, Toronto

12:45 - 2:00

Lunch break


The Converging Paths of Social Movement Actors

Moderator: UBC Grad Student TBA

The reemergence and convergence of Colombia’s invisible struggles are guiding trends toward a non-violent and popular resistance to Colombia’s status quo. Critical to these processes is the role of social movements, including those associated with addressing the root causes as well as the lingering effects of Colombia’s social and political crises in a dynamic national and regional context. What are the hopes and challenges for social movements in Colombia? How does this relate to the position of the current Canadian government and social movements in Canada?

- Gustavo Ulcué, Tejido de Comunicacion y Relaciones Externas para la Verdad y la Vida, Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN), Colombia

- Dr. Manuel Rozental, Hemispheric Social Alliance, Pueblos en Camino Collective

- Micheál Ó Tuathail, MA Candidate Latin American Studies (SFU), La Chiva Collective (Canada).


Brief Break

Coffee and refreshments


Final Comments and Conclusions

Moderator: Eric Hershberg


with Colombian music by the very talented SFU LAS graduate student,

Luis Moncayo

Guest Biographies

Jasmin Hristov is a PhD candidate in sociology at York University, Toronto, and Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Latin America. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Journal of Peasant Studies, Social Justice, and Latin American Perspectives. She is the author of Blood and Capital: the Paramilitarization of Colombia (Ohio University Press 2009).

Forrest Hylton is a PhD candidate in History at New York University and has written extensively on Bolivia and Colombia. He is a regular contributor to New Left Review, The Real News and NACLA Report on the Americas, an editor of and contributor to Ya es otro tiempo: Cuatro momentos de insurgencia indigena, 2nd edition, and author of Evil Hour in Colombia (Verso 2006).

Catherine LeGrand is associate professor of history at McGill University. Her research focuses on the agrarian, social and cultural history of Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries and cultural aspects of US and Canadian relations with Latin America. She has written on the impact of agricultural export economies (coffee, bananas, and sugar) on land tenure and social relations in frontier areas and on rural conflict in Colombia. She has also published on the historiography of foreign enclaves in Latin America, on the Colombian Violencia of the 1950s, and on the current conflict in Colombia.

Nazih Richani is an associate professor of political science at Kean University, New Jersey. He is the author of numerous articles on the political economy of the armed conflict in Colombia, including the influential work Systems of Violence: the Political Economy of War and Peace in Colombia (SUNY Press 2002).

Julian Esteban Torres Lopez is Ph.D. Candidate at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. At the University of New Hampshire he aquired a B.A. in Philosophy and Communication, a M.A. in Justice Studies. He is currently working on his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia Okanagan concentrating on the study of violence in Colombia. His research is guided by the following question: why the historical lack of hegemony in Colombia?

Manuel Rozental is a practicing surgeon and social movement activist. Forced into exile in Canada several times, Manuel has helped to found and develop several solidarity initiatives, including the Canada-Colombia Solidarity Campaign and Pueblos En Camino, an ongoing effort committed to weaving popular initiatives throughout the Americas. For over 10 years, he has been part of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN) in southwestern Colombia. He is a collaborator with the Hemispheric Social Alliance. In this capacity, he toured Canada in 2007 as part of a CLC-CCIC campaign on the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Dr. Rozental is currently Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Algoma in Northern Ontario, He has also held several teaching positions at the National University in Colombia.

Gustavo Ulcué is a Nasa indigenous communicator and member of the Tejido de Comunicación (Communications Network) of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN), Colombia, currently one of the country’s most influential social movements. His organization was instrumental in leading a march of more than 60,000 indigenous peoples into the city of Cali in September of 2004. This march has lead to ongoing mobilizations and activities, which include the ‘Liberation of Mother Earth,’ a popular referendum on the Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the US, a national consultation to weave a ‘People’s Agenda for Colombia’, and the ‘Social and Community Minga’, an ongoing popular mobilization that made international headlines in the Fall of 2008. The Tejido was recognized as the best community communications network in Colombia in 2007 and one of the country’s ‘most influential people’ in 2008.

Micheál Ó Tuathail is an MA Candidate in Latin American Studies at Simon Fraser University. His research focuses on the transnational dimensions of political activism, alternative media activism and solidarity movements. He is a founding member of the La Chiva Collective, a Western Canada-based group working in solidarity with Colombian social movements and communities, a member of Mingas-FTA, a North-South coalition organizing around the Free Trade Agreements, and has worked as an independent researcher and journalist in Colombia.

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 15, 2009

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 15 Apr 2009

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* We need your help to continue providing these Weekly Updates: support Kitty Hung, running the London Marathon to raise funds for our work


* UN Special Representative John Ruggie: Report on regional consultation held in New Delhi, 5-6 Feb

* New "NGO reports" section of Resource Centre website
- note: Accessible via the homepage, under "Special Resources"

* UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries concludes visit to Afghanistan
- press release & transcript of press conference

* Apartheid lawsuit in USA: Claims against Daimler, Ford, General Motors, IBM, Rheinmetall to proceed; claims against Barclays, Fujitsu, UBS dismissed
- text of ruling provided

* "Doing Business in a Multicultural World" report by UN Alliance of Civilizations, UN Global Compact
- describes positive initiatives by Abu Dhabi Natl. Energy, American Express, BMW, HSBC, Manpower, Titan Cement, TUI, others

* UN Durban Review Conference side event: "The workplace: Addressing racial discrimination & promoting diversity" (Geneva, 22 Apr)
- Co-organisers: Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

* "Durban Review Conference and Caste-Based Discrimination": Position paper by NGOs including Human Rights Watch, Intl. Dalit Solidarity Network

* Campaigners say UK bill will weaken human rights & environmental safeguards for projects that receive export credit guarantees

* Investors Against Genocide says Vanguard "misleading" over human rights policy, given holdings in PetroChina
- article includes comments by Vanguard

* Op-ed by Kathryn Dovey, Andrea Shemberg: Companies need to understand gender inequality is a human rights problem

* India: Mysore cafe staffed by Dalit girls challenges long-held caste taboos

* Panama: Alleged forced eviction of Naso community for cattle company Ganadera Bocas
- article includes comments by Ganadera Bocas

* Peru: Govt. grants Doe Run second extension of environmental clean-up at La Oroya smelter

* UN Global Compact Annual Review 2008 highlights progress by participants, also "serious implementation gaps"

* Mars to start sourcing cocoa that meets Rainforest Alliance standards on environment, labour
- NGOs say measures are step in right direction but stronger protections needed

* "Minerals taxation regimes: A review of issues and challenges", report by Intl. Council on Mining & Metals
- Revenue Watch review of report

* Dubai: BBC report on poor conditions at labour camps for construction workers - UAE Govt. says it will investigate

* Philippines: Court case against 33 labour activists, workers aimed at "suppressing labour rights", says Clean Clothes Campaign

* Nigeria: Manufacturers & tanneries release toxic waste into water sources, says newspaper report

* "Business and Migration: Perceptions from Denmark"
- issues covered include human rights, integration, welfare of migrant workers, supply chain management
- refers to positive steps by Comwell, Eurotex, ISS, Metro, Microsoft, Novo Nordisk

* UK: Law Society event, "Can international human rights law provide meaningful obligations for business?" (London, 29 Apr)

* Español: Panamá: Sin comida ni techo quedan comunidades Naso producto de supuesto desalojo a favor de Ganadera Bocas
- Artículo incluye comentarios de la empresa

* Español: Perú: Gobierno extiende por segunda vez plazo para que Doe Run cumpla con obligaciones ambientales

* Español: EEUU: Masco llega a acuerdo extrajudicial con trabajadores, en su mayoría inmigrantes latinos, por alegaciones que incluían pagos inferiores al mínimo estatal

* Español: Brasil: Entidades financieras como HSBC, Banco Real, Unibanco apoyan campaña para erradicar trabajo forzado

* Español: Expertos del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre el uso de mercenarios concluyen su visita a Afganistán

* Français : Fédération mondiale des bourses de diamants interdit les diamants de l'est du Zimbabwe à cause des violations des droits de l'homme

* Français : Nigéria : Pfizer paiera $ 75 millions aux victimes des essais de Trovan qui ont fait 11 morts, dans un accord avec l'état de Kano

* Français : Mars se lance dans une « gestion responsable » de sa filière cacao avec l'ONG Rainforest Alliance

* Français : Sénégal : Total sensibilise sur le paludisme

* Français : Liban : « La situation déplorable des travailleurs syriens »

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Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 8, 2009

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 8 Apr 2009

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

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* Dem. Rep. of Congo: "Enough Project" calls on electronics companies to avoid fueling conflict, gender violence through mineral supply chains

* Thailand: Villagers win case against Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) - lawsuit alleged health problems & deaths caused by pollution

* Nigeria: Kano state and Pfizer agree settlement in lawsuit over drug trials that allegedly killed 11 children

* Lawsuit against Shell for alleged complicity in death of Ken Saro-Wiwa & other Ogoni activists in Nigeria to be heard in New York, 26 May
- Background material & commentaries provided

* European Parliament's Sub-Committee on Human Rights - Public hearing on business & human rights, Brussels, 16 Apr
- UN Special Representative John Ruggie participating

* HP reports on its engagement with SACOM (Hong Kong NGO) on supply chain labour rights, publishes list of top suppliers

* "Shoprite in Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia" - report by Bench Marks Foundation examines social impacts
- includes Shoprite response

* Human Rights & Business Roundtable expands its dialogues on operations in conflict zones - to include representatives of govts., intl. finance institutions

* OECD Guidelines' UK Natl. Contact Point to consider Survival Intl. complaint against Vedanta, regarding plans to mine tribal lands in Orissa, India
- Vedanta response can be found within the contact point's "initial assessment" of the case

* "A recipe for hunger": Intl. Trade Union Confederation report highlights trade, financial & business causes of global food crisis - including "massive profit-taking by a few multinational companies"

* "Mining industry perspectives on handling community grievances" - report by Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Univ. of Queensland, with Harvard Kennedy School's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative

* Uruguay: Human Rights Watch asks govt. to investigate whether TV stations' refusal to run sexual orientation awareness advert was discriminatory

* SustainAbility briefing on business & displacement

* Air France/KLM, BAA, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic propose global greenhouse gas scheme with climate NGO

* World Federation of Diamond Bourses bans diamonds from eastern Zimbabwe over rights abuses at Chiadzwa fields

* New summary profile: Lawsuit against Nokia re Hepatitis B discrimination in China

* PepsiCo adopts human right to water policy
- social investment group welcomes move, will assist & monitor implementation

* Peru: Govt. gives companies 90 days to implement policies to prevent HIV/AIDS discrimination

* Middle East & No. Africa: "From Corporate Philanthropy to Strategic Partnerships: The Potential of Inclusive and Sustainable Business Models" (with case examples)

* Japan: "Sour Strawberries" - documentary on labour abuses of non-Japanese migrant workers

* Job announcement: Policy adviser - private sector, Oxfam (UK - deadline 20 Apr)

* Panel event on business role in the fight against malnutrition, Geneva, 22 Apr

* New book: "Human Rights and Corporations"
- edited by David Kinley, contributions by Surya Deva, Harold Koh, Dinah Shelton, Beth Stephens, Halina Ward, David Weissbrodt, others

* Español: Paraguay: Gobierno establece comisión para erradicar el creciente trabajo forzoso - indígenas del Chaco entre los más afectados

* Español: Uruguay: Human Rights Watch pide que el gobierno investigue posible discriminación por parte de canales de televisión privados que se negaron a emitir un aviso para concientizar sobre la discriminación por orientación sexual

* Español: Perú: Empresas deberán tomar medidas contra la discriminación por VIH/SIDA

* Español: Nuevo libro: ¿Pueden las empresas contribuir a los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio?
- Libro reúne mejores prácticas de empresas como Novartis, Agbar, BBVA, Gas Natural, Telefónica

* Español: Informe de ONGs dice que evasión de impuestos de empresas mineras en África perjudica lucha contra la pobreza

* Español: Indígenas de Ecuador piden a Amnistía Internacional y a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos vigilar fase final de juicio a Chevron

* Français : Les sénateurs verts français veulent une enquête sur les conséquences sanitaires & environnementales des activités d'Areva à l'étranger

* Français : Kenya : Pratiques durables aux plantations de thé d'Unilever

* Français : Table ronde sur le développement durable dans les pays du Sud avec Rio Tinto Alcan, Hydro-Québec, Dessau - Montréal, 30 avril

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Greens: The Conservative Government Doesn’t Take Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Seriously

This is a press release from the Greens on the Conservative Government's announcement on corporate accountability:
OTTAWA--Canada is losing ground in the international community as a country that had a reputation as a leader in protecting human rights. This is evident with the release of Building the Canadian Advantage: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the Canadian International Extractive Sector, released by Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

“Canada doesn’t take Indigenous peoples’ rights seriously and has demonstrated no respect for their reliance on their traditional lands. Canada would not sign the United Nations International Declaration on Indigenous Peoples' Rights and now Canada won’t push companies doing business abroad to ensure they don’t run roughshod over people and their environments,” said Lorraine Rekmans, Aboriginal Affairs Critic, Green Party of Canada.

Several groups, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) have charged that Canada has taken a step backwards with its position on global corporate social responsibility in the resource sector, saying it “is a strategy that falls far short of upholding Canada's international commitments on human rights.”

“The Green Party of Canada joins these groups in a call to the Canadian government to reconsider its commitment to corporate social responsibility and introduce measures that genuinely address the serious human rights and environmental abuses associated with Canadian extractive industry companies,” said Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.

“From their testimony we have learned that the abuse of Indigenous Peoples' rights to lands, territories and resources at the hands of Canadian extractive companies is ongoing. Canada has to ensure that extractive sector interests are not sustained at the expense of the environment and of Indigenous Peoples,” said Rekmans.

The Green Party wants the Canadian government to guarantee that Canadian based companies will uphold standards like the International Finance Corporation's Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability.

Last year, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) made the following declaration: "The Committee notes with concern the reports of adverse effects of economic activities connected with the exploitation of natural resources in countries outside Canada by transnational corporations registered in Canada on the right to land, health, living environment and the way of life of indigenous peoples living in these regions." CERD concluded by recommending that Canada "explore ways to hold transnational corporations registered in Canada accountable."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

NDP: Government fails on corporate social responsibility

Here's the press release from
OTTAWA – Canadians looking to government to ensure that the overseas activities of our mining corporations do not undermine environment, labour and human rights were disappointed with the Conservative policy on Corporate Social Responsibility.

“The international community was looking to Canada to take leadership in putting forward some of the most clear and strongest corporate accountability mechanisms in the world” said New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar. “Conservatives wasted the opportunity for Canadian leadership”.

“Conservatives took two years to just water down every one of the panel’s recommendations and put forward a disappointing set of policies” said John Rafferty, New Democrats’ International Cooperation Critic. “The panel had recommended mandatory standards, the government is pushing for voluntary guidelines; the panel called for an ombudsman with real authority, the government is establishing a counsellor with no teeth”.

Dewar stated that he continues to push forward his private member bill which puts the panel’s recommendations into law. NDP’s Peter Julian will soon reintroduce his private member bill to extend the authority of Canada’s Federal Court to protect foreign citizens against rights violations committed by corporations operating outside of Canada. New Democrats will also support other parliamentary initiatives that push forward stronger corporate social responsibility policies.

Business & human rights: Weekly Update - April 1, 2009

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 1 Apr 2009

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

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* Trafigura allegedly tried to persuade witnesses to change statements in UK lawsuit over toxic dumping in Côte d'Ivoire - judge prohibits most contact between company & witnesses

* Philippines: NGO report says mining causes "large-scale ruin, particularly undermining food production"
- responses by BHP Billiton, Freeport McMoRan, Intex Resources, Pelican Resources, Philex, TVI Pacific, Xstrata/Sagittarius Mines/Indophil
- we attempted to invite Asiaticus Mining (AMCOR) to respond, but were unable to find any contact information

* NGO report: "Breaking the Curse - How transparent taxation and fair taxes can turn Africa's mineral wealth into development"
- includes references to Anglo American, Barrick Gold, Impala Platinum, Lonmin, others

* Greenpeace "Guide to Greener Electronics" shows overall improvement by IT firms on climate change
- refers to positive steps by Dell, HP, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, others

* "Manila Declaration of the Intl. Conference on Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples" (held 23-25 Mar, Philippines)

* Canadian Govt. announces measures to help Canadian extractive firms uphold social, environmental responsibilities abroad
- text of new strategy: "Building the Canadian Advantage"
- reactions by NGOs, mining association

* "Private Military and Security Companies: A Framework for Regulation" - Intl. Peace Institute

* India: "Too hot to handle?" - Article says firms mishandling toxic industrial waste
- BEIL (Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Ltd) response
- we invited Ramky & GEPIL (Gujarat Enviro Protection and Infrastructure Ltd) to respond but they have not done so

* Colombian paramilitary leader's testimony sheds light on payments from US banana companies that allegedly helped finance killings
- refers to Chiquita, Dole, Fresh Del Monte

* Zambia: Natl. human rights commission concerned by extent of labour rights abuses

* Armenia: Concerns over environmental & health impacts of proposed uranium project by Armenian-Russian Mining Company
- NGO says given the risks, public discussions are essential
- company comment included

* Guatemala: Public Service Alliance of Canada withdraws from Goldcorp human rights impact assessment

* "Vote Human Rights" initiative to identify challenging issues for specific sectors (Danish Institute, UN Global Compact)

* Canadian Govt. & Pact-Inc (NGO) join Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights
- principles renew focus on local implementation

* Strengths & weaknesses of judicial & non-judicial remedies for adverse corporate human rights impacts - short paper for John Ruggie

* Mary Robinson calls on business schools to incorporate teaching on human rights

* World Business Council for Sustainable Development launches new version of "Global Water Tool" for companies

* Upcoming event: Panel on lawsuit in US against Shell over alleged complicity in human rights abuses in Nigeria (London, 6 April)

* Español: México: Jornaleros acusan a empresa agrícola de obligarlos a trabajar en condiciones de semiesclavitud
- Propietario de Agropecuaria Las Mercedes niega las alegaciones

* Español: Chile: Denuncian plantas de celulosa, entre ellas Celulosa del Pacífico y Quimetal, por "verter desechos tóxicos" a las aguas de la IX región

* Español: Ecuador: Finaliza inspección judicial en caso de contaminación en tierras indígenas contra Texaco/Chevron

* Español: Perú: Ecopetrol entrará en tierra de indígenas aislados - Survival International expresa preocupación

* Español: Repsol-YPF prepara norma interna, en colaboración con Intermón Oxfam, que acuerda respeto y consulta con pueblos indígenas

* Español: México: Autoridades y vecinos dicen que muerte de 11 campesinos pudo deberse a tóxicos vertidos por empresa Ecoltec
- Ecoltec niega tirar sus desechos a las cauces

* Español: Chile: Acción legal contra salmonera Cultivos Marinos Chiloé por muerte de buzo tras accidente laboral

* Español: Honduras: Sentencias de cárcel para asesinos de abogado que defendía derechos laborales de guardias de seguridad

* Español: Colombia: Sitio web sobre buenas prácticas empresariales que contribuyen al proceso de reintegración de combatientes desmovilizados

* Español: España: Aerolíneas Argentinas condenada por discriminación contra trabajador homosexual

* Français : Le Gouvernement du Canada annonce de nouvelles initiatives en appui aux pratiques commerciales responsables des entreprises canadiennes à l'étranger
- Réactions d'ONGs et de l'association minière

* Français : Angola : Chevron et partenaires offrent mille moustiquaires imprégnées au Sanatorium de Luanda

* Français : Algérie : La Zone Industrielle de Hassi Ameur accusée de nuire à la santé des communautés avoisinantes

* Français : Rapport d'ONGs dit que les politiques fiscales des États africains à l'égard des multinationales minières privent l'Afrique de millions de dollars

* Français : États-Unis : Cour Suprême déboute les victimes vietnamiennes de l'agent orange - entreprises productrices innocentées, y compris Dow et Monsanto

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Business & human rights: Weekly Update - March 25, 2009

Weekly Update: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - 25 March 2009

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

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* ESCR-Net General Assembly, Kenya, Dec 2008: Summary of Working Sessions on Corporate Accountability

* Message from John Ruggie to Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights plenary

* Peru: Prosecutors blame police over torture of mine protesters in 2005, say they found no evidence against Monterrico Metals & Forza

* Oxfam Hong Kong releases "Transparency Report II" on 26 garment companies
- Esquel, Li & Fung, Glorious Sun, Esprit, Giordano, Chickeeduck, Hembly have started reporting on supply chain; 19 firms score 0

* Tobacco firms, including Philip Morris & Reynolds American, take steps to address nicotine poisoning of tobacco pickers following social investor pressure

* US appeals court rehears Wal-Mart appeal of largest gender bias case's class action status
- in a reversal, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission supports plaintiffs' class status (with link to EEOC's court filing in support of plaintiffs)

* Colombia: Attorney General investigates palm oil firms over accusations of "homicide, land theft & forced displacement"
- article includes comments by former manager and lawyer for Urapalma

* Indonesia: Freeport-McMoRan continues to make payments to military
- article includes Freeport comments

* Xe/Blackwater and former employee sued in US court over alleged killing of Iraqi guard

* Bangladesh: High Court orders ship-breaking yards that do not meet environmental requirements to close

* Families of slain Colombian union leaders file new lawsuit against Drummond in USA - say key witness is only now available

* Philippines, 27-29 Mar: Intl. expert workshop on indigenous peoples' rights & the extractive industries
- concept paper & draft programme available
- interview with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, chair of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

* CEO Water Mandate: 3rd working conference focused on "public policy and human rights"

* Chile: Access to water in "driest town on earth" - impacts of free market and mining firms, including Codelco
- article includes Codelco comments

* US court allows lawsuit to proceed against CACI over alleged involvement in Abu Ghraib torture (Iraq)

* Mexico: Report on alleged labour abuses of women and children workers at Wal-Mart México
- Wal-Mart's response

* UK: Blacklisting in construction industry, including of union representatives - employment minister says firms involved will be investigated

* World TB Day: AstraZeneca and British Red Cross partnership to help combat tuberculosis in the developing world

* USA: "How Directors Can Link Long-Term Performance with Public Goals", including on human rights, environment
- report overseen by former Chair of US Securities & Exchange Commission, William Donaldson
- case examples on: internet freedom in China; BP & ExxonMobil approaches to climate change; private equity firms

* Español: México: Reporte sobre abusos de derechos humanos laborales de mujeres y menores trabajadores en Wal-Mart de México
- Respuesta de Wal-Mart (en inglés)

* Español: Perú: Fiscales acusan a policías y no encuentran evidencias contra empresas Monterrico Metals y Forza por tortura de protestantes en 2005

* Español: Honduras: Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos condena las condiciones "inaceptables" de trabajo en la industria de las maquilas

* Español: Costa Rica: Viceministro de ambiente dice que proyecto minero en Crucitas es hidrológicamente viable - Profesor responde alertando sobre posibles impactos ambientales

* Español: Ecuador: Defensor del Pueblo visita comunidades que dicen ser afectadas por exploración de compañía GCP

* Español: Argentina: Aprueban proyecto minero Agua Rica - vecinos alertan sobre su posible impacto ambiental

* Español: Asamblea General de la Red-DESC: Sumario de sesión de trabajo sobre empresas y derechos humanos

* Español: Perú: Dirección Gral. de Salud Ambiental sanciona a minera Catalina Huanca por contaminación de aguas

* Español: Chile: Gerente de proyecto HydroAysén se defiende de acusación de causar daños ambientales (video)

* Español: Colombia: Balance de gestión de ministro de ambiente saliente alaba la "buena minería socialmente responsable tipo Cerrejón" y critica a otras compañías

* Français : Rép. du Congo : Crainte de contamination de l'eau et de l'air par le pétrole à Pointe-Noire

* Français : Bangladesh : La Cour suprême décide d'interdire les opérations des chantiers de démantèlement des navires qui ne sont pas conformes aux normes environnementales

* Français : Compte-rendu de la réunion internationale du Réseau international pour les droits économiques, sociaux & culturels (Réseau-DESC), Kenya, déc. 2008 - avec un rapport sur le groupe de travail « entreprises & droits humains »

* Français : Kenya : Lancement d'une politique VIH/SIDA à la Kenya Port Authority

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