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4 March 2020
CSR: major brands reportedly linked to Uyghur forced labor in China
In the foreword to the Uyghurs for Sale report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI* here), published on 01 March 2020, ‘The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country.’ According to the report displaced citizens are working ‘Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global...
13 February 2020
EU: the European Commission withdraws part of trade tariff preferences granted to Cambodia due to human rights violations
On 12 February the European Commission announced it was withdrawing some trade tariff preferences accorded to Cambodia because of ‘serious and systematic violations of the human rights principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’, it noted in a statement. Brussels had warned Cambodia in February 2019 that it could suspend these preferential trading terms if the country did not take the necessary measures to safeguard human rights including failure to respect freedom of...
13 February 2020
UN: UN Human Rights Office lists 112 companies with activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
This controversial list (here) that was published on 12 February has been subject to intense lobbing not least by a variety of NGOs and trade union bodies that are calling for greater transparency in order to lead awareness campaigns or calls for boycott (for more on this issue c.f. article No. 10817) and other equally vigorous opponents to the publication. The list includes 112 companies, 94 of which are domiciled in Israel and 18 of which are domiciled in six other countries (United States, France, Luxembourg,...
7 February 2020
Canada: bill tabled to require companies to reveal whether they employ forced labour
Julie Miville-Dechêne, the independent Canadian senator, has tabled a bill against modern slavery. Under the text, which has the support of a committee formed by all parties, all companies that employ 250 people or more, generate 40 million Canadian dollars of revenue or have 20 million dollars’ worth of shares on the stock exchange will have to submit an annual report to the federal government detailing their efforts to prevent or reduce modern slavery in their supply chains. Companies that refuse to do so...
5 February 2020
Canada: class action brought against Hershey’s for misleading claims made regarding child labor in their cocoa supply chains
On 20 January, a Canadian consumer filed a class action lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court against Hershey Canada Inc. and its parent establishments denouncing the fact the confectionery company did not make clear the fact that recourse to child labor and slavery was endemic along its cocoa supply chains. The action aims to establish a Canadian residents consumers group ‘who would not have purchased chocolate products manufactured and/or marketed by the Defendants as often or at all, or would not have...
3 February 2020
L’Oréal: ‘employee human rights policy’ addresses issue of living wage
On Friday 31 January, French cosmetics group L’Oréal announced the launch of a new employee human rights policy, with which the firm pledges that “every employee’s human rights must be respected, regardless of their job or location”. The policy complements the group’s existing global human rights policy, launched in 2017, and addresses the emerging topic of the living wage and contains a paragraph on employee freedom of expression.
10 December 2019
Germany: Employment Minister seeks to require company monitoring of environmental and social standards compliance along their supply chains
On 09 December, the German Employment and Social Affairs Employment Minister, Hubertus Heil (SPD), announced during an interview that he, along with his Economic Cooperation and Development colleague, Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) were formulating draft legislation on supply chains (Lieferkettengesetz) that would require German businesses operating internationally to guarantee that their...
26 November 2019
The World Players Association reminds Sports Governing bodies (SGBs) of their CSR obligations
The World Players Association (WPA), that represents players and athletes globally (85,000 sportspeople across more than 100 players associations and across more than 60 countries), and which acts as the leading voice of organized players in the governance of world sport, is continuing its work of building human rights awareness among the international sporting bodies and their members. On 04 December, WPA Executive Director, Brendan Schwab will be hosting a webinar on this issue that follows closely after the...
25 November 2019
United States: Intel includes diversity as criteria for selecting legal service providers
In a statement published on 21 November, the US tech corporation Intel called on its corporate law departments, located in the US, to consider performance on diversity when using external law firms. In concrete terms, as of 1 January 2021, Intel says it will only use external legal service providers that “meet two diversity criteria: at least 21% of the firm’s US equity partners are women and at least 10% of the firm’s US equity partners are underrepresented minorities (which, for this purpose, we define as...
19 November 2019
ACT: freedom of association guideline adopted by Myanmar textiles industry
On 13 November 2019, after eight months of negotiations, and along with the IndustriALL affiliate, Industrial Workers’ Federation of Myanmar (IWFM), garment and textiles factories in Myanmar, which produce for some twenty brands that are members of the Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT) agreement that aims to develop sector based collective bargaining within the large garment producing countries, adopted the Myanmar Freedom of Association (FoA) Guideline. In addition to international guidelines on...