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IHRB News: 2011

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USG Brief in Favour of Kiobel Plaintiffs
21 December 2011
The United States has weighed in on the side of the plaintiffs in the Kiobel case, arguing that it is for the federal courts exercising their "residual" common law powers to determine when corporate liability is appropriate...

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Conference outlines pathways to prosperity for South Sudan
14 December 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday urged the leaders of oil-rich South Sudan to manage natural resources prudently and warned them against falling prey to unscrupulous corporations and countries...

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Surveillance tech companies should not sell to despots says EU
12 December 2011
Surveillance technology companies have a moral obligation not to sell to repressive regimes, said Europe's Digital Agenda Commissioner on Friday. Her views were echoed by the U.S. Secretary of State who said that companies cannot pretend they don't know what their technology is used for in countries like Syria and Iran...

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Clinton Urges Technology Companies to Beware Repressive Regimes
09 December 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on technology companies to make “good decisions” about how and even whether to do business involving nations that may use the equipment or software against their citizens...

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Highlights from the interactive discussion on the future of the business and human rights agenda
29 November 2011
ighlights from the interactive discussion on the future of the business and human rights agenda, held in London on 17 November 2011 in honour of Sir Geoffrey Chandler, are now available...

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UK and Colombia agree joint declaration on human rights
21 November 2011
The Governments of the United Kingdom and Colombia reaffirm their shared commitment to respect, protect, and promote human rights...

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What will be the Top Ten Business and Human Rights Issues of 2012?
15 November 2011
2011 has been a milestone year for business and human rights. The United Nations has endorsed a framework to address the human rights impacts of business activities around the world. What do these developments mean for the business and human rights agenda in the year ahead?..

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Clinton Told: What About Freeport?
14 November 2011
The United States needs to get its own house in order before it can criticize Indonesia on rights abuses, a lawmaker said on Sunday...

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Speech delivered by IHRB Executive Director in Bogota, Colombia
02 November 2011
IHRB Executive Director John Morrison was invited by Instituto Ideas para la Paz (FIP) to speak at a conference in Bogota, Colombia [5 pages, 386kb] on 26 October 2011...

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Mary Robinson's remarks at the UNEP FI Global Roundtable
24 October 2011
Held under the theme “The Tipping Point: Sustained stability in the next economy,” the 13th UNEP Finance Initiative Global Roundtable took place from 19-20 October in Washington DC...

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Business and Human Rights: A Vision for 2020
19 October 2011
Taking inspiration from Geoffrey’s remarkable life and path breaking contributions to corporate responsibility around the world, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is honoured to have been asked to organise an interactive discussion on the future of the business and human rights agenda...

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Good companies can do bad things
29 September 2011
Sir, We welcome a call for greater corporate responsibility from a UK party leader (Miliband’s business crusade draws fire, September 28) but worry that Mr Miliband is being overly simplistic in believing that lists of “good” and “bad” companies might easily be produced even with an overhaul of corporate governance. ..

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Legal changes will hamper abuse cases
11 September 2011
The proposals to abolish success fees and to make claimants' insurance premiums non-recoverable will have the effect of severely reducing the ability of law firms to take on such cases...

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Cisco suits on China rights abuses to test legal reach
08 September 2011
Two lawsuits by three Chinese dissidents and a human rights group accusing Cisco Systems Inc. of abetting imprisonment and torture could have far-reaching impact on how U.S. technology companies conduct business in authoritarian regimes...

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Finland talks business and human rights in Mongolia
01 September 2011
Finnish President Tarja Halonen has made the first high-level official visit to Mongolia, accompanied by a delegation of business executives. Finnish companies are setting their sights Mongolia's mining business...

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How US firms profited from torture flights
31 August 2011
Court documents illustrate how US contracted out secret rendition transportation to a network of private companies...

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Rights Groups Cite Zimbabwe Government Agency in Illegal Diamond Sales
30 August 2011
Human Rights Watch and Partnership Africa Canada released a document they said showed the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe offering in March 2011 to sell more than $200 million in Marange diamonds, then banned from export sale...

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Video interview with IHRB Director of Emerging Issues Salil Tripathi
25 August 2011
IHRB Director of Emerging Issues Salil Tripathi details the path corporations have taken in the area of human rights...

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European technology company accused of enabling torture
24 August 2011
Bahraini security officials used systems from Nokia Siemens Networks to track dissidents, who were later tortured, a new report says. Human rights activists don't want repressive regimes to get surveillance technology...

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Supreme Court May Consider Whether Companies Can Be Sued Over Human Rights
11 August 2011
Recent court rulings on the question of whether oil companies and other multinationals can be sued in U.S. courts for alleged human rights violations overseas has made the issue ripe for Supreme Court intervention, possibly as early as this fall...

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John Ruggie to become new Chair of IHRB's International Advisory Board
20 July 2011
he Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is pleased to announce that Professor John Ruggie of Harvard University, who recently completed his term as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, will become the new Chair of IHRB's International Advisory Board in January 2012...

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Foreign Office to hold talks on whether internet access is a human right
14 July 2011
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will host a multidisciplinary meeting next week exploring the UK’s policy towards freedom of expression on the internet...

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Firestone wins Liberian child labor case in US
13 July 2011
A federal appeals court threw out a lawsuit accusing the Firestone tire company of illegally using child labor in Liberia, but found that U.S. law allows companies to be held liable for human rights abuses abroad...

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Murdoch papers 'accessed PM's sick son's files
12 July 2011
RUPERT Murdoch's media empire has been besieged by accusations that two more of his British newspapers engaged in privacy violations that included accessing former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's bank account information and stealing the medical records of his seriously ill baby son...

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Protecting Migrant Workers: Cleaning up recruitment and return practices
28 June 2011
As tens of thousands of Bangladeshi workers fled the conflict in Libya, their plight exposed the vulnerability of migrant labour. It also laid bare the gaps in protecting the human rights of migrant workers...

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Human rights violations may appear in companies’ annual reports
24 June 2011
Human rights violations by companies may form part of their annual reports as the ministry of corporate affairs is set to introduce norms that will require India Inc to formally recognise and comply with such rights towards all its stakeholders...

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UN Guiding Principles discussed in UK Parliament
21 June 2011
The Institute for Human Rights & Business (IHRB) in collaboration with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Corporate Responsibility, held an event on June 20th in the UK Parliament to discuss the implications of the newly adopted UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...

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UN Principles on Business and Human Rights to be discussed in UK Parliament
20 June 2011
For the first time in its history, the United Nations has agreed a framework to address the human rights impacts of business activities around the world. The UN’s achievement will be discussed this evening at an event in the UK Parliament co-organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Corporate Responsibility and the London-based Institute for Human Rights and Business...

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Results of Survey on Corporate Human Rights Preparedness
13 June 2011
A new survey commissioned by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) shows growing awareness in corporations about their role and responsibilities in the area of human rights, but clearly flags the need for a more robust framework to approach and act on the issue...

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Fury over advert claiming Egypt revolution as Vodafone's
03 June 2011
Video scorned because phone company obeyed Mubarak's order to shut down network during protests...

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IHRB Report - From Red to Green Flags
02 May 2011
The Institute for Human Rights and Business is pleased to announce the launch of its latest report - From Red to Green Flags - The corporate responsibility to respect human rights in high-risk countries...

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World Water Day 2011
22 March 2011
To mark World Water Day, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is releasing today the consultation draft of its new position paper on the right to water and its implications for business...

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New Bill 'would stop cases against multinationals'
20 February 2011
Lobby groups including Amnesty International and the Corporate Responsibility Coalition have written to Jonathan Djanogly, a Justice minister, about proposals to reform civil litigation funding and costs...

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Vodafone: Egypt Made Us Send Those Pro-Mubarak Texts.
03 February 2011
Vodafone (VOD) announced that the Egyptian government forced it to send pro-Hosni Mubarak text messages to its customers in that country. But even though the company says it "protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable," much global reaction has been negative, showing how easily it is to mishandle such circumstances...

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Submissions by IHRB to UN SRSG on Draft Guiding Principles
28 January 2011
The mandate of United Nations (UN) Special Representative for business and human rights (the ‘Special Representative’) was created in 2005 to establish greater clarity concerning the human rights responsibilities of business enterprises...

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Business in Armed Conflict Zones: How to Avoid Complicity and Comply with International Standards
10 January 2011
Politorbis The Swiss Federal Dept of Foreign Affairs publishes the journal Politorbis several times a year. Its 50th issue (3/2010) is about "Dealing with the Past." [208 pages, 2.13mb] The issue focuses on grave crimes during armed conflict...

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