Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

iStock_000011057325XSmallIt’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: litigation developments in cases that address the “Social Cost of Carbon,” the liability of interactive media service providers, and human trafficking in corporate supply chains; and a new global ranking of countries according to the relative risk of human trafficking and forced labor.

On August 8, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed new energy efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment that had been issued by the… More

Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance: Building Capacity to Respond to Stakeholder Demands

ConferenceThis is the second in a series of posts reflecting excerpts from a chapter that I authored on corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) for the Corporate Legal Compliance Handbook

CSR is dynamic: it is responsive to standards, expectations, and contexts that are ever-shifting. To be effective, CSR requires a comprehensive approach to both standard-setting and engagement with internal and external stakeholders. One useful definition of CSR that emphasizes its multi-faceted nature has been adopted by the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government:

Corporate social responsibility encompasses… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

iStock_000011057325XSmallIt’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: a new report from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; reviews of the latest round of conflict minerals reports; corporate efforts to address the risks of sex and labor trafficking in connection with the Olympic Games; and murder charges in Bangladesh tied to the Rana Plaza collapse.

In his most recent report to the… More

Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance: A Functional Convergence

iStock_000010452472_SmallThis is the first in a series of posts reflecting excerpts from a chapter that I authored on corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) for the Corporate Legal Compliance Handbook

Over the last 20 years, many companies have invested considerable time and resources in developing comprehensive compliance standards and procedures. At a minimum, compliance programs are intended to prevent and detect violations of the law that may lead to civil or criminal liability. A rigorous approach to compliance may help… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

iStock_000011057325XSmallIt’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: the release of the third, and likely final, draft of the World Bank’s revised safeguard policies; guidance for management accountants on how to identify human rights-related risks and manage human rights performance; and developments in a major Alien Tort Statute case.

On July 20, a committee of the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors endorsed the third draft of a proposed Environmental and Social Framework intended to ensure that… More

Using Information on Human Rights Impacts to Drive Social Performance

New legislative requirements and stakeholder concerns have driven many companies to implement systems to identify address the potential human rights impacts of their operations. Companies increasingly realize the responsible management of human rights impacts helps mitigate legal, operational, and reputational risks.

That said, as companies begin to assess human rights impacts, they need to avoid the trap of treating these assessments as box-checking exercises. A large volume of information can be gathered through human rights due diligence, but it will be… More

Second Circuit Holds that the U.S. Government Can’t Order Microsoft to Disclose Customer Emails Stored in Ireland

Cloud computing security conceptIn a case closely watched by privacy advocates, on July 14, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) does not authorize U.S. law enforcement authorities to order U.S.-based companies to turn over customer e-mail content that is stored exclusively outside the United States.

In the case, Microsoft v. United States of America, Microsoft challenged a warrant requiring it to turn over customer data, including the content of emails, held on a company server in Ireland. The company argued that the SCA, one of the component… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

iStock_000011057325XSmallIt’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: a new lawsuit aimed at combating human trafficking in corporate supply chains; the release of the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. State Department; and a change in the Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma.

On July 1, the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons released the 2016 Trafficking in Persons report, its annual review of the anti-human… More

Securities and Exchange Commission Issues New Rule on Extractive Industry Transparency

TransparencyOn June 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a new rule requiring extractive sector companies (oil, gas, and mining) to disclose the payments that they make to governments for the commercial development of oil, gas, or minerals.

The rule was enacted pursuant to Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which directed the SEC to issue a rule requiring extractive sector companies to disclose payments to governments, including both foreign governments and the U.S. federal government. As discussed in previous posts, the SEC originally issued a rule implementing… More

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

iStock_000011057325XSmallIt’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: a new guide for business lawyers from the International Bar Association that seeks to promote implementation of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; the public release of Know the Chain’s first report benchmarking technology companies on efforts to address forced labor in their supply chains; and a major expression of investor support for the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark.

On May 28, the International Bar… More