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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...
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...
5 November 2019
Great Britain: legal firm threatens damages against tobacco giant British American Tobacco
Leigh Day, the UK-based legal firm, specializing in human rights, has sent a pre-action letter to the London headquarters of the tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) announcing its intention to lodge a claim case at the High Court in London in 2019 if no satisfactory response to its letter is received. The firm is accusing BAT of buying tobacco from Malawi that has actually been grown from the labors of more than 350 children, who the firm is now representing in this case, and the youngest of whom are only...
15 October 2019
ACT partner members seeking decent living wages for those in the global garment and footwear sector adopt a joint purchasing practices due diligence framework
In September 2019 and in a new departure, ACT members (a collaboration of 20 global companies representing a broad range of brands and labels global brands and IndustriALL Global Union representing garment, textile and footwear workers from around the globe) adopted an accountability and monitoring framework on purchasing practices. ACT aims to use collective bargaining as a means to...
11 October 2019
UN : discussions over a treaty on the liability of transnational businesses for human rights violations to recommence
The UN inter-governmental working group on transnational businesses and human rights is to hold a fifth session of discussions over an international, legally binding instrument between 14 and 18 October in Geneva. The talks will be based on a new draft text, presented by the rapporteur having been drawn up following the fourth discussion session in October 2018 (see article n°10810). This initiative seeks to ensure effective access to justice and reparations for victims of human rights violations committed by...
10 October 2019
88 NGOs and trade unions launch an appeal for a European regulation making human rights and environmental due diligence mandatory
On 03 October 2019 a coalition of 88 NGOs and European trade union organizations (ETUC, Uni Europa, EFBWW, EPSU, EFFAT, ETF, and IndustriAll Europe) called for the adoption of a regulation that would establish a mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence framework for business, companies and financial institutions operating, or offering a product or service, within the EU. These more binding rules address the prevention and mitigation of risks that these rights may be breached as a result of...
11 September 2019
Germany: new ‘Green Button’ label created for textiles produced in line with social and environmental standards
In Berlin on 09 September, German Economic and Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU), officially launched his key project creating the ‘Grüner Knopf’ (Green Button). The Federal Economic and Development Ministry will award the Green Button certificate to textile-based products that comply with a series of environmental and social production standards, thereby providing a layer of guarantees to consumers seeking equitable and sustainable production processes. The Green Button’s overriding characteristic is...