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6 May 2020
EU: EU Commission to propose a regulation by 2021 on human rights due diligence in global supply chains
On 29 April the European media reported that EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders had announced that next year, and as part of the EU Commission’s 2021 work plan and the European Green Deal, he would be presenting a legislative proposal that would create a due diligence obligation to prevent the risks of human rights violations in global supply chains. While clearly not new news (c.f. article No. 11675), Mr. Reynders’ announcement, made during a European Parliament webinar, confirms that the EU...
5 March 2020
Great Britain: investors increasingly more vociferous over the gender gap
The Investment Association, a trade body representing UK investment managers, has written to 63 companies listed on the FTSE 350 criticizing them for the lack of female participation on their supervisory and management boards (BoM). In the letter the IA has called on these major companies to explain how they were working towards improving gender balance and encouraged them to reach the goal of 33% female management board participation by the end of the year, as per the Hampton-Alexander Review recommendation (c.f....
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...
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...