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UN Forum 2017: Materials launched

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27 November 2017

OECD Watch launches campaign to improve effectiveness of national contact points in providing access to remedy

Author: OECD Watch

OECD Watch has launched a campaign to improve the effectiveness of national contact points (NCPs) of the OECD so that the NCP system can provide access to remedy for victims of business related human right violations. All governments that adhere to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises have made a binding commitment to establish effective NCPs. We ask these governments now to honour their commitments... OECD Watch’s new campaign will be marked with nearly a dozen national level campaigns by its members aimed at getting policy-makers to take the necessary steps to ensure that their NCPs meet the obligations laid out in the Guidelines’ Procedural Guidance.  The campaign also aims at getting policy-makers to acknowledge that remedy is the reason for NCPs, so that NCPs are equipped with the necessary political will to carry out determinations of a company’s non-compliance with the Guidelines and help facilitate access to remedy.

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28 November 2017

The responsibility of multinational corporations & other international institutions for human rights violations in the UAE

Author: International Centre for Justice and Human Rights

...The cooperation between...multinational corporations and the UAE authorities in different commercial, financial and technical activities – without investigation into the existence of legal and actual guarantees for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms – could be considered as tantamount to involvement with Emirati officials in the grave violations being committed against political activists, human rights defenders and bloggers in the country. They are regularly being deprived of their personal safety and dignity and their physical and moral sanctity...

...The British defence company BAE Systems is supplying the UAE with advanced spy technology and decoding systems. In 2015, the UAE acquired from British companies new systems to intercept communications and carry out wiretapping, including the so-called “IMSI-catchers"...[T]he equipment used by the State Security Apparatus to wiretap and monitor the movements and activities of human rights defenders has contributed to the imprisonment of many of them, based on recordings of their criticisms of the political or justice systems or their reporting of violations of human rights...

...Several transnational corporations and other institutions have undertaken work and contracts for the benefit of the UAE and have placed workers from different nationalities under the sponsorship (Kafala) system...It is known that Kafala system violates more than one human right, including the right of the worker to change their job and to leave the country without their sponsor's permission, as well as their right to resign from their work...[also refers to Apple]

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29 November 2017

Coalition of NGOs launch online platform tracking states' legal initiatives on corporate accountability & access to remedy

Author: ICAR, ECCJ, CORE Coalition, Above Ground and Public Eye




"Launch of "BHRinLaw" website to track state initiatives on corporate accountability and access to remedy", 29 Nov 2017 

ICAR, ECCJ, CORE, Above Ground and Public Eye are pleased to announce the launch of a new website: BHRinLaw

In today’s globalised economy, corporations operate across national borders and legal systems with ease... States around the world are developing innovative legal approaches to ensure respect for human rights. This website aims to highlight these key international developments, unpack them, and make them accessible to decision-makers and the public.

...BHRinLaw provides an online platform for information on State-driven initiatives to codify the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and enhance access to remedy by highlighting developments in mandatory human rights due diligence and parent company accountability from around the world.

The website provides aggregated information on current legislation, case law, and ongoing legislative processes. It also acts as a hub for news, events, research, documents, media, and good practices on this topic. 

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29 November 2017

Danish Institute for Human Rights launches new website & updated toolkit on NAPs

Author: Danish Institute for Human Rights

This website is an online “one stop shop” for information regarding the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) on Business and Human Rights. It is managed by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).

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30 November 2017

Coalition of NGOs publish preliminary results of research into advancing & strengthening OECD National Contact Point peer review process

Author: Accountability Counsel, OECD Watch, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

"Blog: Are National Contact Points improving through peer review?", Nov 2017

By learning from experience, accountability offices like the National Contact Points (NCPs) [...] can be more effective at resolving conflicts among companies and the people affected by their operations. In order to improve, NCPs volunteer to undergo a review by their peers. As businesses, governments, and civil society organizations gather in Geneva to mark the progress of the UN Guiding Principles on Businesses and Human Rights (UNGPs), we are eager to ensure that the peer review process is as effective as possible... [T]he International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), Accountability Counsel, and OECD Watch researched whether the peer review process is really improving the effectiveness of NCPs overall. While our qualitative analysis is still ongoing, we have thus far found many ways in which the NCP peer reviews can be improved. Some of the key interim recommendations are to make the process more transparent and accessible... Other recommendations are tied directly to ensuring that a review leads to effective change.

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