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UN Working Group on business & human rights says US "still faces significant challenges to address to the adverse impacts of business activities" after country visit

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2 May 2013

US: Despite progress significant challenges to address adverse business impacts on human rights

Author: Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The United States still faces significant challenges to address the adverse impacts of business activities on human rights, despite progress and innovation in key sectors of the economy, a United Nations expert group said at the end of a ten-day mission to the country...From the low wage industries in the services sector, the UN experts heard allegations of significant and widespread labor practices that, if correct, would be both illegal under US laws, as well as fall below international standards....In the extractives sector, the experts noted the allegations of significant human rights impacts of surface mining, particularly the rights to health and water...They also heard allegations of impacts from a range of business activities on the rights of Native Americans, particularly as regards the lack of free, prior and informed consent for projects affecting them and sites of cultural and religious significance to them, as well as issues of discrimination.

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