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IHRB News: 2012

Launch of Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity
18 December 2012
Marking International Migrants Day 2012, the Institute for Human Rights and Business has launched the Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity. These provide an accessible and authoritative central reference point for responsible business in relation to workers. They are based on international human rights and labour standards - notably relevant ILO conventions and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Daily Star, Bangladesh

Human Rights, Business and the Dhaka Principles
18 December 2012
Marking International Migrants Day: an Op-ed published today in Bangladesh’s leading English language newspaper, The Daily Star, co-authored by IHRB Executive Director, John Morrison; and RMMRU Executive Director, C R Abrar.

2013 Top Ten List of Business and Human Rights Issues Published
10 December 2012
Just 18 months after the adoption of UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, significant progress has been made in integrating human rights concerns into a range of important initiatives by governments, businesses and other actors around the world...

World Economic Forum

Engaging business in human rights
10 December 2012
Read the blog posted by IHRB Patron Mary Robinson on Human Rights Day: "The Universal Declaration states that “all organs of society” have human rights responsibilities. The good news is that a broad global consensus exists on what these responsibilities mean for business. In 2011, the UN adopted Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the final product of a six-year multistakeholder effort..."

Invitation - Report Launch: The 'State of Play' of the Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights in Business Relationships
26 November 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) are pleased to announce the launch of our 'State of Play' Report on Human Rights in Business Relationships.

Forced labour in global supply chains remains a risk
20 November 2012 | Financial Times
The following letter was published in the The Financial Times on Tuesday 20th November 2012: Sir, The revelation that Ikea had forced labour in its European supply chain as recently as 25 years ago is a reminder of two things. The first is that companies, as well as governments, need to be fully transparent about their own legacies. The second is that...

Cautious optimism in Myanmar
09 November 2012 | by Elaine Weidman-Grunewald
Myanmar is finally reemerging in the global economy. In recent years, there have been significant political developments which have opened up opportunities for progress for in business and on human rights.

Submission to the US State Department on US Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma (Myanmar)
11 October 2012
IHRB warmly welcomes the US Government’s Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma and takes this opportunity to respond to the questions posed in the Federal Register Notice and to provide some limited recommendations on changes to the suggested text of the Reporting Requirements themselves.

Human Rights Challenges Amidst Myanmar's Gold Rush
09 October 2012 | Business Times
by Mahdev Mohan, Lan Shiow Tsai, & Salil Tripathi
At first blush, Myanmar appears to be on a path towards democratization. It is important for the international community to support Myanmar’s journey. But investors should also understand their investment risks and live up to their responsibility to protect and respect human rights. In several countries in the past, large infrastructure and extractive sector projects have led to significant human rights abuses, including, in some cases, forced labour, displacement and land-grabbing...

Business must do more to protect the world's most vulnerable workers
05 October 2012 | Guardian.co.uk
by John Morrison, IHRB Executive Director and Neill Wilkins, Programme Officer
At this week's Labour Party Conference in Manchester, Ed Miliband, the UK opposition leader, said the time had come to tackle abuses of worker rights. He pledged to "crack down on employers who don't pay the minimum wage" and to "end the shady practices, in the construction industry and elsewhere, of gangmasters" if he came to power. These are welcome commitments and should be seen as non-partisan issues...

US Supreme Court with US flag in foreground

Shell, Corporate Social Responsibility and Respect for the Law
03 October 2012
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a case that strikes at the core of corporate social responsibility, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell). The Kiobel plaintiffs allege that Shell was complicit in egregious human rights violations including rape, torture, and the extrajudicial killings of peaceful protesters who objected to Shell’s presence in Ogoniland, Nigeria...

Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein

Benchmark for Myanmar deals
27 September 2012
The following letter was published in the The Financial Times on Thursday 27th September 2012: Sir, The parallel visits of both Myanmar’s president Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to the US represent a number of turning points. Not mentioned in your analysis – but critical – are the new US government reporting requirements for all companies making significant investments in the country.

Motoko Aizawa

IHRB Appoints New Board Members
21 September 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its International Advisory Board. The new Board members – Motoko Aizawa of the World Bank, Rae Lindsay of law firm Clifford Chance LLP, and Margot Wallström, the former UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict – bring decades of experience working on issues relating to business and human rights.

Donna Guest

IHRB Appoints New Staff Members
13 September 2012
IHRB is delighted to welcome three new colleagues to its expanding team of professionals dedicated to making respect for human rights part of mainstream business practices around the world. The new members of the IHRB team, Donna Guest, Hnin Wut Yee and Vanessa Bissessur, bring enormous experience and years of dedication to the business and human rights agenda.

US Supreme Court

Kiobel and Corporate Social Responsibility
05 September 2012
IHRB Chair John Ruggie releases Issues Brief on Shell's legal strategy in US Supreme Court Kiobel case, CSR and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Burma: first steps for investment of western capital
31 July 2012 | Guardian.co.uk
by John Morrison, IHRB Executive Director
Burma represents a test of much of what has been written about the social impact of business, and piloted elsewhere. Given the history of sanctions which until recently kept western capital out of the country, the social impact of this capital in Burma will be tangible. There will be no place in Burma for self-promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) or cultural relativism. Instead companies will need to align their social interventions to international norms...

enews

eNews Update - Summer 2012
26 July 2012
The Summer 2012 IHRB eNews Update provides an overview of our recent activities, including items on our work to promote uptake of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Myanmar and to highlight corporate responsibility during the London Olympics.

Ethical Corporation

Burma, business and human rights
17 July 2012
John Morrison, Executive Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, speaks with Ethical Corporation about two recent trips to Myanmar, companies investing there and the work IHRB is doing to aid companies in tackling challenges in the country.

Hotel Cleaning Staff

Preventing the Exploitation of Staff in UK Hotels
03 July 2012
John Cryer MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament to support the Staff Wanted Initiative. IHRB and Anti-Slavery International call on all MPs to sign this EDM and help prevent the exploitation of workers, particularly agency staff in UK hotels.

Sports sponsorship and Human Rights Due Diligence: An Olympian Dilemma
Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, Vol. 30/2, 133–136, 2012
by Salil Tripathi, IHRB Director of Emerging Issues
The Olympic Games will begin in July in London. What are the responsibilities of the organisers in deciding who they should take sponsorship money from? Organisers of the London Olympics realised they had to confront the question when they found rising international activism and criticism when it was revealed that the American company, Dow Chemical, was one of the sponsors of the Games...

Hotel Cleaning Staff

InterContinental Hotels Group pledge to adopt London Living Wage
25 May 2012
A version of this letter appeared in print on May 24, 2012, on page 67 of the London Evening Standard: Dear Editor, Your article (22 May) on the InterContinental Hotels Group's bold step in being the first major hotel chain in London to endorse a living wage points to an important and often under reported subject - the status of the many staff who work in the capital’s hotel industry...

Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2012

Expert Conference: Business and Human Rights - Principles to Practice
08 May 2012
This week European officials, businesses and other stakeholders are meeting in Copenhagen for a conference entitled "Business and Human Rights - Principles to Practice" under the auspices of the Danish Government, which is currently serving as the Presidency of the European Union. Designed to initiate national implementation plans in all 27 EU countries for the UN Guiding Principles, the conference is being co-facilitated by the Institute for Business and Human Rights...

Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child

Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
30 April 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business(IHRB) welcomes the initiative by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to develop a General Comment on Child Rights and the Business Sector. IHRB appreciates the opportunity to provide input to the Committee based on the CRC’s annotated outline.

enews

eNews Update - Spring 2012
26 April 2012
In April 2012, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) marks its third anniversary. This edition of our enews update provides an overview of our most recent activities.

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson and John Ruggie call on EU Foreign Ministers to make human rights central to trade and investment in Myanmar
20 April 2012
In a letter sent to all EU Foreign Ministers, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and John Ruggie, former UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, on behalf of the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), urge the European Union to make clear that respect for international human rights standards is integral to future trade with and investment in Myanmar.

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Delhi Roundtable to Combat Human Trafficking Co-hosted by Verité and the Institute for Human Rights and Business
12 April 2012
Over the last few years, Verité has done a great deal to promote safe migration and responsible recruitment of migrant workers in global supply chains. This work has shone a spotlight on the role of private employment agencies and labor brokers in recruitment systems, focusing on the twin risks of forced labor and human trafficking that can be introduced by unscrupulous brokers seeking to benefit from the vulnerability of labor migrants...

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IHRB's submission on oversight mechanism for International Code of Conduct for Private Security firms
Updated: 05 April 2012 | Posted: March 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business(IHRB) appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the draft charter for the independent governance and oversight mechanism of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers(ICoC). As an independent organisation dedicated to advancing corporate respect for human rights, IHRB believes the ICoC is an important new multi-­‐stakeholder initiative deserving of broad support. IHRB welcomes the commitments made by the growing number of ICoC signatory companies, participating governments and civil society organisations, and congratulates them for their leadership in this effort...

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Children's rights are finally getting the attention they deserve
30 March 2012
Recognition of children as important in the broader human rights and business discussion has been a long time coming...

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Fair Labor Association Secures Commitment to Limit Workers' Hours, Protect Pay at Apple's Largest Supplier
29 March 2012
Independent Investigation Uncovers Significant Issues; 35,500 Anonymous Surveys Give Voice to Worker Concerns,FLA to Monitor, Publish Progress Reports on Apple and Foxconn Implementation...

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Submission to the United Nations office of High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning inputs to the Secretary-General's report on Business and Human Rights and the UN system
26 March 2012
The Secretary-General to prepare a report on how the United Nations system as a whole, including programmes and funds and specialized agencies, can contribute to the advancement of the business and human rights agenda and the dissemination and implementation of the Guiding Principles, addressing in particular how capacity-building of all relevant actors to this end can best be addressed within the United Nations system...

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Congolese victims’ pursuit of justice against Canadian company goes to Supreme Court
26 March 2012
The Canadian Association Against Impunity (CAAI) has today filed an application with the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of Congolese families. The families are seeking leave to appeal the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss a human rights case against the Canadian corporation Anvil Mining Limited...

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Council of Europe adopts new internet governance strategy based on human rights values
15 March 2012
The Council of Europe is promoting an Internet based on its core values and objectives, namely human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law; developing Europe's cultural identity and diversity; finding common solutions to the challenges facing European society; and consolidating democratic stability in Europe...

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Bangladesh open-pit coal mine threatens fundamental rights, warn UN experts
28 February 2012
The Government of Bangladesh must ensure that any policy concerning open-pit coal mining includes robust safeguards to protect human rights. In the interim, the Phulbari coal mine should not be allowed to proceed because of the massive disruptions it is expected to cause,” said today a group of United Nations independent experts...

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Syria Bars Protesters’ Text Messages With Dublin-Made Equipment
21 February 2012
As unrest in Syria erupted into public demonstrations and a bloody crackdown that has claimed over 6,000 lives in the last year, the regime of Bashar al-Assad sought to neutralize one of the most potent tools in the protesters’ arsenal: text messages sent via mobile phones...

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EU to develop human rights guidance for IT industry
14 February 2012
The European Commission has chosen ICT as one of the sectors for which it will develop specific guidance on the corporate responsibility to respect human rights...

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Hard National Security Choices European Governments File Supreme Court Amicus Briefs in Kiobel
08 February 2012
The Governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have filed amicus briefs in support of Shell Oil in the Kiobel case, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether corporations may be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute for violations of international law...

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ABA House Considers Human Rights Responsibilities of Corporations
06 February 2012
The ABA House of Delegates has supported a set of guiding principles for business and human rights after their adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council...

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Three new colleagues appointed to lead IHRB’s expanding work in Africa and Europe and take forward programmes on human rights due diligence
17 January 2012
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is delighted to welcome three new colleagues to its expanding team of professionals dedicated to making respect for human rights part of mainstream business practices around the world...

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Implementing the Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: New Project to Develop Guides for three European Business Sectors
Updated: 13 January 2012 | Posted: 10 January 2012
This week the European Commission announced that the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and Shift have been selected to support a new project to develop guidance for select industry sectors on implementing the corporate responsibility to respect human rights...

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